Plants tufted to mat forming, green, not glaucous, with woody base. Stems erect, (3-)10-23 cm, moderately to densely stipitate-glandular. Leaves: basal leaves abundant, persistent; cauline leaves in 5-7 pairs, reduced distally; basal blades spreading to arcuate-spreading, needlelike, 0.8-2 cm × 0.4-0.8 mm, ± rigid, not fleshy, herbaceous, apex spinose, glabrous, not glaucous. Inflorescences: (1-)3-6-flowered, open cymes. Pedicels 6-25 mm, stipitate-glandular. Flowers: sepals 1-3-veined, lateral veins less developed, narrowly elliptic to ovate, 3.5-4 mm, 4.8-5.2 mm in fruit, margins usually broadly winged, scarious, apex broadly acute to obtuse (at least in fruit), glabrous or nearly so; petals yellowish white, spatulate, 5.8-10 mm, 1.3-1.5 times as long as sepals, apex rounded; nectaries as lateral and abaxial rounding of base of filaments opposite sepals, 0.2-0.3 mm. Capsules 7-10 mm, glabrous. Seeds brownish black, suborbicular with hilar notch, 2-2.4 mm, tuberculate; tubercles rounded, elongate. Flowering late spring-summer. Oak and yellow pine forests; 1500-2800 m; Ariz. Eremogone aberrans is known only from northern Arizona and resembles a robust form of the more northerly occurring E. aculeata. In Arizona it is often confused with E. fendleri, which has sepals more or less glandular-pubescent whereas E. aberrans has sepals glabrous or with a few glandular hairs at their bases.
Kearney and Peebles 1969
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Subshrub General: Perennial, grasslike and more or less caespitose, from a partially woody caudex, 3-15 cm tall, glandular pubescent. Leaves: Mostly basal, sometimes with one or more pairs along the stem, linear, rigid and sharp, 5-20 cm long. Flowers: Open cyme, few to several flowered, 5 small white petals longer than 5 obtuse sepals, normally 10 stamens, 3 styles. Fruits: Longitudinally dehiscent capsules 7-9 mm long, with cleft valves. Ecology: Found often in oak and pine forests from 5,000-9,000 ft (1524-2896 m); flowers May-July. Notes: Known only from north-central and northern Arizona; distinguished from other Arenaria by its petals being consistently longer than sepals and having a longer capsule. There is only a single collection of this species at Tonto NM in 1989, worth collecting to expand known distribution. Ethnobotany: Unknown, but other species in the genus have uses. Etymology: Arenaria is from the Latin arena, sand, which refers to the sandy places the species lives, while aberrans means deviating from normal. Synonyms: Arenaria aberrans (M.E. Jones) Editor: SBuckley, 2010