[oregonflora.org] Description, Habitat: Plants 5 to 45 cm, pale green.
Stems slender, branches few from primary stem, usually strigose only, occasionally ascending hirsute.
Leaves few, scattered, proximal-most persistent during flowering, linear to narrowly oblanceolate, 10 to 50(70) × 2 to 6 mm, margins hirsute, tips acute to rounded, surfaces finely appressed- to ascending-hirsute, more coarsely so abaxially, hairs minutely pustulose.
Inflorescences cymules usually paired or in 3s, rarely solitary, few-flowered, 2 to 15(22) cm, proximal-most flowers not touching; bracts absent; pedicels 0.5 to 1 mm in fruit.
Flowers appressed to ascending, promptly deciduous at maturity; calyces slightly asymmetric, cylindric to urceolate, bases rounded, constricted distally, 2 to 3 mm at anthesis, 4 to 7(8) mm in fruit, lobes separate to base, narrowly lanceolate, apical half linear, margins distally with many short, recurved to reclined hispid hairs, midribs thickened, distally with many short recurved to reclined hispid hairs, tips spreading, abaxial surfaces basally densely appressed hirsute, adaxial surfaces proximally glabrous, distally finely appressed hirsute; corollas funnelform, tubes 1 to 1.5 mm, limbs 1.5 to 2 mm in diameter; fornices minute; gynobases extending to 50% and styles to slightly < 100% length of mature nutlets; flower bracts absent.
Fruits 3 to 4, homomorphic, ovate, compressed, 1.9 to 2.2(2.5) mm, grayish or brownish, bases truncate, margins rounded, tips short-acuminate, surfaces papillate and sparsely low-rounded tuberculate, abaxial surfaces low-rounded convex, spinal ridges absent, adaxial surfaces flat, attachment scars centered, edges not raised, abutted, widely bifid-forked but not gapped at base, areoles absent.
Basalt-derived or loess substrates, slopes, banks, open shrublands, open coniferous woodlands. Flowering Jun Jul. 1300 to 1800 m. BW, ECas, Sisk. CA, ID, NV, WA. Native.
Cryptantha simulans is often found in forest understories. It is readily recognized by the stem hairs being appressed only, the narrow distal calyx lobes with recurved, hispid hairs, and the flattened, ovate nutlets sparsely covered with low-rounded tubercules. (contributed by Mary Ann Machi)