[oregonflora.org] Description, Habitat: Plants 5 to 35 cm, usually pale green.
Stems erect, occasionally without clear central stem, unbranched or branched throughout, branches usually few, ascending, strigose and spreading-hirsute.
Leaves usually few, oblanceolate, linear, or narrowly oblong, 10 to 50 × 2 to 5 mm, tips acute to rounded, surfaces appressed- to ascending-hirsute, pustulose, pustules larger on margins and abaxial surfaces.
Inflorescences cymules solitary, rarely paired, 1 to 5 (10) cm in fruit, proximal-most flowers usually not touching; bracts occasionally 1 to 2 at cymule base, resembling vegetative leaves; pedicels 0 to 0.5 mm in fruit.
Flowers ascending to spreading, promptly deciduous at maturity; calyces symmetric, cylindric to ovoid, bases widely rounded, slightly constricted distally, 1.5 to 2.5 mm at anthesis, 4 to 6 mm in fruit, lobes separate to base, linear to lanceolate, margins often densely whitish ascending-hirsute, midribs slightly thickened and ascending to inclined coarse-hispid, hairs pustule-based, tips erect to slightly recurved, abaxial surfaces finely appressed-hirsute, adaxial surfaces glabrous proximally, appressed short-hirsute near tips; corollas funnelform, tubes 1 to 1.5 mm, limbs 1 to 2 mm in diameter; fornices minute; gynobases extending to 75% and styles to slightly < length of mature nutlets; flower bracts absent.
Fruits (3)4, homomorphic, lance-ovate, usually compressed, 1.8 to 2.2 mm, grayish to brownish, occasionally mottled, bases truncate, margins rounded, tips narrowly acute rounded, slightly acuminate, surfaces dull, uniformly minutely tuberculate-spinulose, spinule projections short, cylindric, transparent, and apically rounded to sharp-tipped, abaxial surfaces low convex, usually flat, spinal ridges absent to obscurely present, adaxial attachment scars centered, edges not raised, abutted entire length or variably narrowly gapped, widely bifid-forked at base, occasionally gapped to form minute areole.
Openings in shrubland, coniferous forest, juniper woodlands. Flowering May to Aug. 1600 to 2200 m. BR. CA, ID, NV. Native.
Cryptantha echinella is distinguished by its dense, finely tuberculate-spinulose nutlets, which have short, narrowly cylindric, and transparent spinules. (contributed by Mary Ann Machi)