Leaves: basal rosette forming in winter annual plants, absent later. Sepals ovate, hyaline margins or apex frequently purple. Seeds light tan, with delicate reticulate ridge pattern (50-80×), smooth or pebbled to strongly tuberculate. 2n = 36. Flowering spring-early summer. Moist or dryish sandy places, field margins, open pine woods, paths, roadsides, sidewalk cracks, lawns; 0-500 m; Que.; Ala., Ark., Conn., Del., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Kans., Ky., La., Md., Mass., Miss., Mo., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Okla., Pa., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Vt., Va. Specimens of subsp. decumbens from Alberta, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, and Arizona represent historical collections that apparently did not persist.
Subspecies decumbens is extremely variable. A slender, nearly apetalous variation with a greater frequency of 4-merous flowers has previously been recognized as var. smithii; the range of variability is continuous and it seems best to consider the material as a single taxon.
From Flora of Indiana (1940) by Charles C. Deam
Local in the southern counties in bare, sandy places in fallow fields and pastures and on the tops of river bluffs. In several instances it was intimately associated with Plantago pusilla. In the fields and pastures it appears as if introduced, and on the bluffs of streams far from fields it appears as if native. The plants are mostly 2-5 inches high and erect or erect from a very short, decumbent base and none are apetalous.