grows close to the ground, forming low mats, although the reddish purple stems may reach lengths of 3 feet or more. The spherical flower clusters are borne on short stalks, and contain between 8 and 27 components; individual flower heads have a thin, tubular corolla, dark greenish-purple in the center, which opens out into around a dozen lobes, which are mostly pinkish purple but white at the base. Inside the tube are 3 stamens and a pistil. The green leaves also grow on purple stalks, and are often partly covered by sand. Leaves and stems can be hairless, but more usually have a covering of short, glandular hairs. The plant is relatively rare, found only in scattered locations in California and along the coasts of Oregon and Washington.