Stems: six to fifteen inches high, rigid, with one or two small leaves with sheathing petioles. Leaves: obovate coarsely serrate above the middle, attenuate below to a short-winged petiole, which is dilated and sheathing at the base. Flowers: numerous, in bracted paniculate racemes; petals five, entire, linear, white; calyx campanulate. Fruit: carpels purple-red, divergent.

A very handsome plant, with closely clustered flower-heads and thick glossy leaves. In seed it is remarkable for its rich purple-red appearance. It grows in quantities near many alpine streams.