Herald-of-summer is a pretty, simple to freely branched wildflower. It ranges in height from 10 to 100 cm in height. The buds are usually erect in this species. The sepals are typically connate and turned to one side under the flower. The pale pink to rose-purple flowers have a central carmine-colored splotch in the center of each petal. The flowers open during the day and tend to close at night. The petals are mostly greater than 2 cm long, and are rounded to obtuse in shape. Another key characteristic is the linear stigmas which are usually more than 2 mm long, and the seed capsules are not strongly curved.
Herald-of-summer is a wildflower of open, grassy or rocky areas.
Herald-of-summer is found from Vancouver Island to southern Oregon, primarily west of the Cascades. In the Columbia River Gorge it is found between river level and 3000' from near Cape Horn east to about the White Salmon River.