Low, spreading shrub with pungent, sticky, fernlike leaves, often forms dense carpets.
Mountain Misery got its name from what many forest visitors consider to be an unpleasant combination of sticky leaves and a medicinal aroma. The shrub forms dense carpets in ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer stands in the Sierra, often covering extensive areas. Hikers walking through such tracts soon discover that the plantís black gum sticks to boots and clothing. The resin makes Mountain Misery highly flammable, and it is among the several Sierra shrubs that invade recently burned areas. Californiaís Miwok Indians, who called the plant Kit-kit-dizze, drank a tea steeped from the leaves as a cure for a number of ailments.