Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci. ser. 2, 5: 624. 1895.
Plants sometimes canescent basally; caudex branched. Stems: several from base, unbranched or branched distally, 0.3–1.8 dm, trichomes simple, 0.3–0.6 mm, mixed with smaller, dendritic ones. Basal leaves: petiole 1–6 cm, ciliate, trichomes simple; blade obovate, ovate, suborbicular, or oblong in outline, (terminal segments obovate or oblong), 0.5–2.5 cm × 5–15 mm, (terminal segments 0.2–1 cm × 1.5–5 mm), margins pinnatisect or pinnatifid, apex obtuse or rounded. Cauline leaves shortly petiolate or sessile; blade similar to basal, smaller distally. Racemes elongated and dense in fruit. Fruiting pedicels suberect to ascending, (subappressed to rachis, often forming less than 40˚ angle), proximalmost sometimes bracteate, 3–10 mm, pubescent, trichomes simple (to 1 mm), mixed with smaller, dendritic ones. Flowers: sepals (persistent), 2–2.5 mm; petals usually white, rarely pinkish, spatulate to obovate, 3.5–4.5 × 1.5–2.5 mm, narrowed to claw, 0.5–1.5 mm, apex rounded; anthers oblong, 0.5–0.6 mm. Fruits suberect to ascending, ovoid to suboblong, terete or slightly flattened, 2–6 × 2–3 mm, base and apex obtuse; valves each with obscure midvein; ovules 4–8 per ovary; style 0.2–1 mm. Seeds 1–1.5 × 0.6–0.7 mm.
Phenology: Flowering Jul–Aug.
Habitat: Loose talus, mica shist, alpine rock slides, rocky moraines, rock crevices
Elevation: 1500-3400 m
B.C., Calif., Oreg., Wash.
Smelowskia ovalis appears to be rare in Oregon, common at Mt. Lassen (Shasta County, California), and widespread at high elevations in Washington.