Family, Rockrose. Color, yellow. Petals, 5, falling after a day's time, much larger than the calyx. Leaves, bristly, awl-shaped, small, overlapping one another, closely packed on the stem. Flowers, very small, borne among the leaves near the tops of the branches; sessile or with short peduncles.
This plant grows a few inches high, in a close and bushy fashion, heather-like, in sand along the dunes or on the edges of pine woods.
"In some parts the two species of poverty grass (Hudsonia tomentosa and ericoides), which deserve a better name, reign for miles in little, hemispherical tufts or islets, like moss scattered over the waste.
"In summer, if the poverty grass grows at the head of a hollow looking toward the sea, in a bleak position when- the wind rushes up, the northern or exposed half of the tuft is sometimes all black and dead, like an oven-broom, while the opposite half is yellow with blossoms, the whole hillside thus presenting a remarkable contrast when seen from the poverty-stricken and the flourishing side." - Thoreau's Cape Cod.
A third species is found in the mountains of North Carolina.