Perennials; glabrous throughout. Rhizomes cylindrical, slender, 1-2 mm diam. Stems erect or decumbent at base, unbranched, 0.6-2 dm. Rhizomal leaves palmately or subpalmately compound, 3 or 5 (or 7)-foliolate, 5.5-17(-22) cm, (fleshy), petiolate, leaflets petiolulate or subsessile; petiole 4-14(-17) cm; lateral leaflets subsessile, blade similar to terminal, sometimes smaller; terminal leaflet (petiolule 0.1-0.5 cm), blade ovate to lanceolate or elliptic-oblong, 1-3 cm × 6-17 mm, base cuneate or obtuse, margins entire, (apiculate). Cauline leaves 2 or 3, 3 or 5-foliolate, petiolate, leaflets petiolulate or sessile; petiole 0.7-4(-8) cm, base not auriculate; lateral leaflets sessile, blade similar to terminal, smaller; terminal leaflet petiolulate (0.1-0.5 cm), blade elliptic to oblong, or ovate, 1.2-3.5 cm × 4-25 mm, margins entire. Racemes ebracteate. Fruiting pedicels ascending to divaricate, 6-18 mm. Flowers: sepals oblong, 3-5 × 1.5-2 mm, lateral pair saccate basally; petals white, obovate, 8-14 × 4-7 mm, (short-clawed, apex rounded or subemarginate); filaments: median pairs 4-5 mm, lateral pair 2.5-3.5 mm; anthers oblong, 1-1.2 mm. Fruits linear, 2-4 cm × 1.5-2.2 mm; ovules 10-14 per ovary; style 1-5 mm. Seeds brown, oblong, 1.8-2.2 × 1.2-1.5 mm. Flowering Jul-Aug. Limestone talus slopes, loose limey shale, moist banks; 2200-2700 m; Mont. Cardamine rupicola is known from Flathead, Lewis and Clarke, and Missoula counties.