Unique to mountain meadows of western North America, pink mountain heather (Phyllodoce empetriformis, Ericaceae) can be found at elevations above 5000 feet (1524 m) from Alaska to Colorado. Forming low, dense mats of growth up to 16 inches (41 cm) in height, the evergreen foliage appears conifer-like. As with conifers the leaves are narrow and waxy, allowing the plant to conserve water in harsh environments.
Pink mountain heather flowers in the brief alpine summer from June to August. The bell-shaped flowers grow in clusters at the end of stems and can appear any shade from pink to purple. The contrasting deep green foliage and bright pink flowers make this a gorgeous plant to encounter in the mountains.