A perennial forb or subshrub that typically forms low, broad mats with individual clumps ranging from 4 inches to 2 ft (sometimes up to 4 ft) tall and wide.
1 inch long and underside can be softly woolly or hairless.
Sulfur yellow to orange or reddish, sometimes turning rusty orange-red with age. Flower stems are 3 to 16 inches tall and topped by umbel-shaped clusters of tiny flowers.
June through September, or October at higher elevations.
Grows in sandy to gravelly substrate in sagebrush communities on dry slopes, ridges and rock outcrops at elevations up to 10,000 ft.
Attracts bees, hover flies, and butterflies. Oregon Bee Atlas participants have found the cuckoo bee genus Stelis on this species of buckwheat.