Sandy spots in the mountains are often brightened by lovely patches of the soft pink blooms of this attractive and odd-looking little plant. Near Wawona, on the Glacier Point trail, I saw at least half an acre of sand carpeted with beautiful rose-color. In moderate altitudes the plants are about ten inches tall, but they get dwarfish as they climb and on the mountain-tops they are only an inch or so high, with close mats of small leaves. They have strong tap-roots and the leaves are dull gray-green, rather thick and stiff but hardly succulent, and grow mostly in rosettes at the base, those on the stem having shrunk to mere bracts, with several, smooth, reddish stalks springing from among them. Each stem bears a close, roundish head, two or three inches across, consisting of many tightly-coiled tufts of shaded pink, each composed of innumerable, small, pink flowers, the papery, pink and white sepals and bracts being the most conspicuous part. They overlap each other and have daintily ruffled edges. The three stamens are long and protruding and the style long and threadlike. The flower-clusters are like soft pink cushions, so the pretty little name of Pussy-paws is appropriate, both to form and coloring. Chipmunks are very fond of the small, black seeds.

Pussy paws  Spraguea umbellata

Pussy-paws- Spraguea umbellata. BUTTERCUP FAMILY. Ranunculaceae.