Annuals 6–30 cm; vestiture sparsely hispido-pilose, stem hairs spreading at right angles, straight, 0.6–2.4 mm, thick-based. Phyllary apices long-acuminate. Ray florets 13–21. Disc floret corollas: base not swollen and indurate. Cypselae: hairs apically straight; pappi coroniform, ciliate, 0.2–0.7 mm. 2n = 8.
Phenology: Flowering May–Jul.
Habitat: Sand or sandy clay, open scrub oak woodlands, mesquite savannas, fields, disturbed sites, roadsides
Elevation: 30–200 m
Aphanostephus pilosus is recognized by its reduced habit, distinct vestiture, small heads, and long-acuminate phyllary apices.