Engelm., Trans. Acad. Sci. St. Louis 2: 494 (1868)
T: USA, California, San Francisco, Turk Station, 22 Apr 1866, A.Kellogg s.n.; holo: MO; iso: GH, US.
Annuals, 1–5.5 (–6.5) cm tall. Stem erect, leafless, 0.1–0.3 mm thick; basal leaves to 2.5 cm long. Flowers 1–4, almost always trimerous; bracts 2–5, ovate to lanceolate, obtuse to more frequently acute, reddish-brown at least below, occasionally with a herbaceous midrib, 1–2.5 mm long, rarely tepaloid and to 4 mm long; pedicels 0.3–0.6 mm long. Tepals acute to acuminate, (1.5–) 2.0–3.2 mm long, 0.4–1.0 mm wide, with inner to 0.2 mm longer or 0.4 mm shorter than outer; central band soon turning dark reddish-brown to black at least distally. Stamens (2–) 3, 1.2–1.8 mm long; anthers 0.3–0.5 mm long, 1/3–1/2 filament length; style 0.2–0.5 mm long; stigmas 0.4–1.3 mm long, pinkish. Capsule obovoid to elliptic, (1.5) 1.8–2.9 mm long, subequalling the tepals, differing by up to 0.3 mm, usually soon turning dark reddish, similar in color to the tepals. Seeds to 7 per row and c. 50 per capsule, ovoid, 0.4–0.55 mm long, apiculate, distinctly ridged. 2n = c.34, fide B.J.Ertter, Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 39: 27 (1986).