The common name of cryptantha virgata
, miner's candle, refers to its stout, candle-like profile; the main leaves project outwards a few inches, but the stem is enclosed by a dense mass of smaller leaves and calyx tubes, giving a thick appearance, colored predominantly white when in full bloom due to the numerous small, five-petaled flowers that form most of the way along. Stems are unbranched. Although the longest leaves grow around the base, those higher up the stem are still quite substantial, and all have quite a dense covering of long, white, bristly hairs. Flowers are less than an inch in diameter, with a short corolla that opens out to five rounded lobes and a slightly raised ring at the center.