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A dwarf, evergreen shrub growing 4 to 10 in. high in gardens; stems erect, much-branched, quite hidden on the younger parts by closely overlapping leaves. Leaves 1⁄6 in. long, arranged in four rows, so as to give the leaf-clothed stem a four-angled shape; stalkless, concave in front, each one closely appressed to the leaf above it; furrowed behind, slightly downy. Flowers sparsely borne at intervals along the younger parts of the stem during April and May, and produced singly from the leaf-axils. Corolla nodding, white tinged with red, bell-shaped, 1⁄6 to 1⁄4 in. long (occasionally longer), calyx of five ovate divisions, green tinged with red; flower-stalk decurved, about four to six times as long as the leaves. Bot. Mag., t. 3181.
Native of the northern hemisphere, in Arctic and sub-Arctic regions; said to have been introduced from Lapland in 1810, and later from N. America. It differs from C. fastigiata in the smaller flowers, and in the leaves being without the silvery membranous margins, although slightly ciliated.
var. saximontana – This variety has also been found in Okanogan County, Washington, USA.
C. tetragona subsp. saximontana (Small) Porsild