Herbs, densely matted, 0.4-1.2 × 1-3 dm. Leaf blades elliptic, (0.25-)0.3-0.6 × 0.15-0.35 cm, white-tomentose on both surfaces, margins not revolute. Scapes 0.4-1 cm, glabrous or rarely floccose. Involucres 1.5-2 mm, glabrous or sparsely tomentose. Flowers 2-2.5 mm. Achenes 2.5-3 mm. Flowering May-Jul. Sandy flats and slopes, mixed sagebrush and grassland communities, pinyon, juniper, and Jeffrey pine woodlands; 1500-2500 m; Calif., Nev. Variety purpusii differs from other varieties of the species in its distribution disjunct to the north and east, and its more arid, desert-like habitat. It is common in Inyo and southern Mono counties of California, with scattered populations known near Inyokern in Kern County. In Nevada, it is known only from the Orchard Springs area of Esmeralda County. The bright white tomentum of the leaves is distinctive, and the low mats are sometimes used for dried decorations. Purpus wild buckwheat is an excellent rock-garden plant.