Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts 12: 272. 1877
Plants erect to infrequently spreading, (0.3–)0.5–2.5(–3) × 0.5–3(–5) dm, thinly pubescent. Leaves basal or nearly so; petiole 1–2(–3) cm; blade oblong or oblong-ovate to ovate, 0.3–1(–1.5) × 0.3–0.8(–1) cm, thinly pubescent adaxially, densely tomentose abaxially. Inflorescences mostly flat-topped and openly branched, usually reddish; bracts persistent, 2, usually leaflike at proximal nodes and similar to proximal leaf blades only more reduced, short-petiolate, oblong-ovate to ovate, 0.3–0.8 cm × 2–6 mm, becoming sessile, reduced and scalelike at distal nodes, linear, acicular, often acerose, 0.1–0.4 cm × 0.5–1 mm, awns straight, 0.5–1 mm. Involucres in open clusters with 1 at node of dichotomies, reddish, cylindric, not ventricose, 3–4.5 mm, not corrugate, without scarious or membranous margins, thinly to densely pubescent; teeth spreading, unequal, 0.7–1.5 mm, 3 longer ones more erect than 3 shorter and less-prominent ones; awns uncinate, 0.5–1 mm. Flowers long-exserted; perianth rose to red, infrequently with white lobes, cylindric, 4.5–6 mm, pubescent; tepals connate ca. 2/3 their length, monomorphic to slightly dimorphic, narrowly oblanceolate, rounded apically, those of outer whorl occasionally slightly broader and longer than those of inner whorl; stamens 9, mostly included; filaments distinct, 4–6 mm, glabrous; anthers pink to red, oblong, 0.5–0.6 mm. Achenes brown, lenticular, 4–4.5 mm.
Varieties 2 (2 in the flora).