An aromatic evergreen shrub up to 6 ft high in a wild state, of stiff, sparse habit; young shoots thickly furnished with glands. Leaves alternate, mostly in clusters, three- or five-lobed, 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 in. long; lobes linear with recurved margins, glandular above, covered with white down beneath, very stiff in texture. Flowers fragrant, solitary at the end of short twigs, 3⁄4 in. wide, white or pale yellow; petals five, obovate; calyx funnel-shaped at the base, with five lobes, glandular and downy like the flower-stalk; stamens numerous. Seed-vessels terminated by slender styles 1 to 11⁄2 in. long, densely furnished with silky white hairs.
Native of the S.W. United States from Nevada, Utah, and Colorado to S. California, also of N. Mexico; discovered by Howard Stansbury in 1852 during his expedition to the great Salt Lake of Utah. This species and C. mexicana D. Don, are closely allied. Jepson, the Californian botanist, made it a variety of C. mexicana, and this status is accepted by Munz in A California Flora (1959). The calyx of C. mexicana is more bell-shaped than funnel-shaped. Both need the sunniest position that can be given them.