"Bushy, heath-like little shrubs, seldom a foot high." (Gray.) Leaves. - Small, oval or narrowly oblong, pressed close to the stem. Flowers. - Bright yellow, small, numerous, crowded along the upper part of the branches. Calyx. - Of five sepals, the two outer much smaller. Corolla. - Of five petals. Stamens. - Nine to thirty. Pistil. - One, with a long and slender style.

In early summer many of the sand-hills along the New England coast are bright with the yellow flowers of this hoary little shrub. It is also found as far south as Maryland and near the Great Lakes. Each blossom endures for a single day only. The plant's popular name is due to its economical habit of utilizing sandy unproductive soil where little else will flourish.