Plants (5–)10–30(–60) cm. Leaves basal (often withering) and, usually, cauline, 1–6(–10) cm; largest blades ± 3-dimensional, not to somewhat succulent; primary lobes mostly 2–7(–10) pairs, ultimate lobes ± crowded to remote, antrorse, linear, terete. Peduncles 2–6 cm. Involucres obconic to ± cylindric or hemispheric, mostly 5–10 mm diam. Phyllaries: longest 7–10 mm, ± granular-glandular and villous; apices (all or inner) erect to incurved, usually reddish, acuminate, aristate, terete. Receptacles: paleae (0–)3–10+ (persistent, ± phyllary-like, apices visible among mature floret buds). Corollas 4–6 mm. Cypselae ± terete, 3–4.5 mm; pappi usually of 4(–5) scales, longest 3–5 mm.
Ariz., Calif., N.Mex., Nev., Utah, nw Mexico.
Varieties 2 (2 in the flora).
Though occasionally suspected (P. Stockwell 1940), there are no confirmed natural or artificial hybrids between Chaenactis carphoclinia and any other member of the genus. The presence of paleae on the receptacle of C. carphoclinia is unique in Chaenactis.