The photo above shows Wallowa cryptantha on rocky ground along the Frances Lake Trail in the Eagle Cap Wilderness.......July 25, 1997.
Sierra cryptantha is a small alpine wildflower often found on ridgetops. It has several to many stems arising from a taproot that may attain a height of 3-15 cm, although heights of 20-30 cm are possible. The leaves and stems are either sparsely to densely covered with silky, appressed hairs or loosely woolly hairs. The basal leaves are strongly tufted, oblanceolate or spatulate in shape with rounded to pointed tips. They are up to 3.5 cm long and 8 mm wide. The stem leaves become reduced in size higher on the stem.
The inflorescence is somewhat club-like in shape. The corolla tube is about equal in length to the calyx, which is up to 7 mm long in fruit. The tips of the petals bend sharply away from the tube and spread to about 4-8 mm wide. The five petals are white with a yellow central area.
Sierra cryptantha is found at high altitude, often on montane ridgetops above timberline. It prefers, dry, open, well drained rocky places.
Sierra cryptantha is found in mountainous areas of eastern Oregon (Wallowa, Steens, Warner, and the southern Cascades) east through central Idaho to western Montana, and south through Nevada to the Sierra Nevada of California.