Compact tufted habit to 3cm high. Leaves crowded, overlapping, linear-lanceolate or elliptic-ovate dull grey-green, 10 by 3mm and sometimes papillose. Inflorescence erect in bud, terminal and flat usually with three branches. Flowers few, five-petalled, yellow about 1cm wide. Yukon to New Mexico along the Rockies and mountains to the west in rocks and gravels. Similar to and once thought to be synonymous with S. stenopetalum which is bright green with a clear red suffusion. Reminiscent of the European S. rupestre but lower, neater and quite a different shade of green. S.l. subsp. nesioticum is larger, more robust and floriferous with rosettes to 2.5mm across, from the Pacific coast of Canada including the off-shore islands. S.l. subsp. subalpinum is a diminutive form from high altitudes. Not yet in European collections. American enthusiasts find this difficult to maintain.