Engelm., Trans. Acad. Sci. St. Louis 2: 492 (1868)
Annuals, (2–) 5–12 (–17) cm tall, caespitose. Stem erect, leafless; basal leaves to 5 cm long. Flowers (1–) 2–8, usually trimerous, occasionally dimerous; bracts 2–10, ovate to broadly lanceolate, acute, unpigmented or castaneous, 0.7–2.4 mm long. Tepals linear to lanceolate, (1–) 1.9–4.5 mm long, (0.3–) 0.5–1.1 mm wide; inner tepals usually 0.2–0.8 mm longer (rarely subequal or shorter) than the outer, (acute–) acuminate to attenuate, erect to recurved, with central band remaining green or turning pale to dark reddish. Stamens (2–) 3, 1.5–3.1 mm long; anthers often somewhat sagittate–based, (0.6–) 1–2.2 mm long, c. 1.25–3 times filament length; style (0.5–) 0.9–3.2 mm long; stigmas 0.5–2.5 mm long, often reddish. Capsule (globose–) ovoid to ellipsoid or oblong, (1.1–) 1.6–2.5 (–2.9) mm long, 0.5 times tepal length or sometimes subequal or rarely longer, usually pale to dark reddish. Seeds to 6 (–8) per row and c. 35 (–50) per capsule, variable in size and shape even in the same capsule, subglobose to ellipsoid, 0.3–0.8 mm long, usually apiculate and umbonulate, distinctly ridged or lightly ridged (but then seeds at least 0.5 mm long). 2n = c.36, fide B.J.Ertter, Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 39: 27 (1986). Fig. 59.