A dwarf, deciduous, semi-woody plant forming a dense rounded tuft of slender, angled stems, 6 to 12 in. high. Leaves 1⁄4 to 1 in. long, oblong or obovate, rounded at the apex, tapered at the base. Flowers one or three at the end of the shoot, bright yellow, 1⁄2 to 1 in. diameter. Petals narrowly obovate. Sepals about half as long as the petals, spreading in the fruiting stage. Styles three, united.
This charming little shrub is one of the rarest of N. American plants, being confined in the wild to a few mountain tops in N. Carolina and Georgia. It was introduced to Kew in 1893, but had been discovered fifty years before. Of too fragile and delicate a nature to hold its own in an ordinary shrubbery, it is on the other hand admirably adapted for some nook of the rock garden, where it makes gay patches in July. It produces abundant seed. Under cultivation its leaves and flowers are considerably larger than in wild examples, and its dainty character is apt to be spoilt by too rich a soil.