Plants solitary or in groups, with thick, fleshy rhizomes. Leaves basal; petiole indistinct, flattened, 3–10 cm; blade linear or elliptic to ovate, 6–25 cm, fleshy, base attenuate, margins entire or subentire, ciliate, surfaces usually densely short-hairy, often tangled brown-hairy along proximal midveins. Inflorescences (30–)50+-flowered, open, often lax thyrses, 25–125 cm, purple-tipped stipitate-glandular. Flowers: sepals reflexed, triangular to ovate; petals white to cream or rarely purple, not spotted, linear to narrowly elliptic, not clawed or slightly clawed, 2–3 mm, longer than sepals; filaments linear, flattened; pistils connate to 1/2 their lengths; ovary 1/2+ inferior, appearing superior in fruit. Capsules green, folliclelike. 2n = 56, 84, 112.
Phenology: Flowering spring.
Habitat: Marshy meadows, mucky seepages in woods, swamp forests, montane bogs and seeps
Elevation: 100-1400 m
Man., Ont., Sask., Conn., Del., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Ky., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Mo., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Pa., R.I., Tenn., Vt., Va., W.Va., Wis.
Purple-petalled populations of Micranthes pensylvanica have been known as Saxifraga purpuripetala and are found in Maine, New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont.