Woody-based tufted perennial, sometimes shrubby, about 20cm high but often taller. Leaves linear to lanceolate, long-pointed, ciliate, with or without surface pubescence, 4-8cm long. Flowers variably scented, 2cm or a little more in diameter, generally in shades of lilac, pink or white, less commonly dark purple, rarely lavender, in loose clusters of three to eight, spring to early summer. North-western North America but rare in California, in a variety of habitats up to 3000m. P.l. corteziana is always a woody-based perennial 8-10cm tall with leaves 2.5-4cm long and slightly smaller, usually pink or white, rarely lilac or lavender flowers. P.l. humilis is more slender, the base of the plant composed of many sterile leafy shoots. P.l. calva can, under ideal conditions reach 90cm in height but is usually smaller with mildly fragrant flowers 2.2cm wide or more. For P.l. var. gladiformis, see P. gladiformis. [Pl.352]. For P. longifolia var. brevifolia see P. grayi.
Locklear (2012) includes P.grayi and P.stansburyi in P.longifolia and lumps all forms together as one variable species (but in need of work!).