Plants to 1.2 dm; roots elongate, woody. Stems spreading-ascending overall, sometimes basally decumbent, branching. Leaves sessile; blade terete, to 4.5 cm. Inflorescences cymose, slightly to much overtopping leaves; peduncle ± scapelike or not, to 6.5 cm. Flowers: sepals persistent, broadly lanceolate, to 4 mm, apex acuminate; petals white to purplish pink, paler at base, elliptic-ovate, to 9 mm; stamens (6-)7-18; stigma 1, subcapitate, sometimes 3-lobed. Capsules ovoid, strongly trigonous, 5-7 mm. Seeds without arcuate ridges, 1 mm. Flowering Jun-Sep. Woodland openings and bare slopes and summits in rocky soil on chert, basalt, and cinder; 1800-2400 m; Ariz., N.Mex. The more recently described Phemeranthus thompsonii may be indistinct from P. validulus and perhaps should be merged with it.
PLANT: Herbs to 12 cm tall. ROOTS: elongate, becoming stout, woody. STEMS: branching, spreading-ascending overall, sometimes basally decumbent. LEAVES: somewhat congested, sessile, terete, to 45 mm long. INFLORESCENCE: lateral or terminal cymes, erect, slightly to greatly overtopping the leaves; peduncles to 6 cm long, sometimes scape-like. FLOWERS: sepals broadly lanceolate, 4 mm long, persistent beyond capsule dehiscence, shorter than mature capsules; petals elliptic-ovate, ca. 9 mm long, purplish pink, paler at base; stamens (7-)10-18; stigma 1, subcapitate. CAPSULES: ovoid, strongly triquetrous, 5-7 mm long. CAPSULES: ovoid, strongly triquetrous, 5-7 mm long. SEEDS: smooth, ca. 1 mm long. NOTES: Woodland openings in rocky soil: Coconino, Mohave, Yavapai cos.; 1700-2300 m (5600-7500 ft); May-Sep. REFERENCES: Allison Bair, Marissa Howe, Daniela Roth, Robin Taylor, Tina Ayers, and Robert W. Kiger., 2006, Vascular Plants of Arizona: Portulacaceae. CANOTIA 2(1): 1-22.