Plants perennial, loosely cespitose. Taproots filiform to slightly thickened. Stems erect to arcuate-ascending, green, commonly purplish, 3-8 cm, glabrous, internodes of all stems 0.2-1.5 times as long as leaves. Leaves tightly overlapping, usually connate proximally, with ± loose, scarious sheath 0.2-0.7 mm; blade ascending to variously curved, green, commonly purplish, flat, prominently 1-veined abaxially, linear to subulate, 3-10 × 1-2 mm, flexuous, margins not thickened, scarious, smooth, apex green to purple, rounded, navicular, shiny, glabrous; axillary leaves present among cauline leaves. Inflorescences solitary flowers, terminal; bracts linear to subulate, herbaceous. Pedicels 1-4 cm, glabrous. Flowers: hypanthium disc-shaped; sepals 3-veined, midrib prominent, lateral veins 1/ 1/ 2 times as long as sepals, ovate to lanceolate (herbaceous portion ovate to lanceolate), 2-4 mm, not enlarging in fruit, apex often purple, rounded to acute, not hooded, glabrous; petals oblong to obovate, 0.8-1 times as long as sepals, apex rounded, entire, rarely absent. Capsules on stipe ca. 0.2 mm, ellipsoid, 2-4 mm, equaling sepals. Seeds reddish brown, suborbiculate with radicle prolonged into rounded beak, somewhat compressed, 0.6-1 mm, tuberculate; tubercles low, rounded, elongate. 2n = 30, 60. Flowering spring-summer. Rocky talus, montane ridges and meadows, moist tundra; 0-200 m; Alta., B.C., N.W.T., Yukon; Alaska; Asia (Russian Far East, e Siberia). Minuartia elegans is a part of the M. rossii complex (S. J. Wolf et al. 1979), and is an amphi-Beringian species. The plants are tufted and are known in the flora area only from northwestern Canada and Alaska. Reports from the Pacific Northwest and southern Rocky Mountains likely are referable to M.austromontana.