Shrubs, 10–30 cm; with woody, branched caudices, bark becoming dark gray, fibrous with age. Stems ascending, green, sparsely to densely puberulent, sparsely glandular. Leaves ascending to spreading; sessile; blades with faint midnerves and pair of collaterals, narrowly elliptic to oblanceolate, 10–30 × 0.7–1.2 mm, flat to sulcate, apices acute (often apiculate), faces moderately puberulent, sparsely stipitate-glandular. Heads in densely cymiform arrays, often overtopped by distal leaves. Involucres turbinate, 6–10 × 3–4 mm. Phyllaries (12–)14–18 in 3–4 series, ± in vertical ranks, mostly tan, sometimes green-tipped, ovate or oblong to elliptic, unequal, 2.5–7.5 × 1–1.8 mm, chartaceous, outer ± herbaceous wholly or distally, weakly keeled, midveins faint, apices acute to obtuse, faces sparsely puberulent. Disc florets 2–3(–4); corollas 5.5–8 mm, lobes 1–1.7 mm; style branches 2–2.7(–3.4) mm (included in or barely surpassing spreading corolla lobes), appendages 0.8–1.4 mm (lengths about equaling stigmatic portion). Cypselae reddish brown, turbinate, 4–6 mm, densely hairy; pappi tan, 5–7 mm. 2n = 18.
Phenology: Flowering summer–fall.
Habitat: Sagebrush grasslands, open slopes in deserts, tolerant of alkali
Elevation: 1400–3100 m
Calif., Idaho, Nev., Oreg., Wash.