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A low mat-forming shrub up to 12 or 15 in. high; stems downy when young. Leaves linear, 3⁄16 to 5⁄8 in. long, usually blunt at the apex, margins minutely glandular-toothed. Flowers purplish pink, borne in umbel-like clusters from the upper leaf-axils on downy-glandular stalks; calyx-lobes ciliate, otherwise glabrous, obtuse; corolla widely bell-shaped, glabrous, about 1⁄3 in. long, with recurved lobes; stamens included; style exserted. Capsule globose-ellipsoid. Bot. Mag., t. 3176.
Native of western N. America from Alaska to California, fairly frequent in open places near and above the tree-line, sometimes in association with the yellow-flowered P. glanduliflora, with which it hybridises. The plant once generally grown in gardens as P. empetriformis is not the true species but one of these hybrids (see P. × intermedia).