Description from Flora of China
Sem. Hort. Petrop. 8: 56. 1842; C. pentandra (Royle ex Edgeworth) Schönland; Tillaea pentandra Royle ex Edgeworth.
Herbs 2-7 cm tall. Roots fibrous. Stems branched mostly from base, erect or ascending. Leaf blade linear-lanceolate to oblong, 3-5 × 1-2 mm, margin often hyaline, apex acute to shortly acuminate. Flowers in very condensed axillary cymes shorter than subtending leaf, (4 or)5-merous; pedicel shorter than sepals, sometimes almost absent. Sepals narrowly triangular, 1.5-1.8 × ca. 0.6 mm, apex long acuminate and aristate. Petals dull white to purplish, ovate-lanceolate, 0.7-1.6 × 0.2-0.6 mm, apex long acuminate and aristate. Stamens ca. 0.6 mm. Nectar scales spatulate-linear, ca. 0.6 mm. Carpels oblong-ovoid. Styles short. Follicles brown, 2-seeded. Seeds brown, cylindric-ovoid, ca. 0.5 × 0.3 mm, smooth or obscurely longitudinally ribbed. Fl. Jul-Aug, fr. Sep.
The Chinese material belongs to subsp. schimperi. Two further subspecies are recognized in Africa.
Among rocks on grassy slopes; 3000-4800 m. Xizang [Bhutan, India, Kashmir, Nepal, Pakistan; tropical Africa, SW Asia].