Low, tufted, herbaceous shrubs. Stems: woody at the base. Leaves: oval, crenate-dentate, green and glabrous above, white-canescent beneath. Flowers: yellow, solitary; calyx persistent, its tube concave, hirsute lobed; petals numerous; style elongated and plumose in fruit.
This insignificant little yellow flower, which meekly droops its head as if conscious of its lack of good looks, has the most lovely plumose seed-heads imaginable; and there are few prettier sights in the mountains than that of some low-lying alpine meadow literally covered with these frail feathery tufts, rising up on their long, slender, woody stems several inches above the prostrate foliage, half of which is curled over to show its silvery lining; for all the leaves of Drummond's Dryas are green and shining on the top and white and silky underneath. The flower consists of numerous small yellow petals enclosed in a short, hairy, green calyx; but as soon as these die and fall off, the stalk elongates and the seed-head quickly develops. This plant will grow in the poorest soil, and is most frequently found on arid gravel beds and in the gravelly battures of the alpine streams.
Drummond's Dryas (Dryas Drummondii)