Plants 20-60 cm. Leaves moderately crowded, green; blades 1-nerved, linear, 20-40 × ca. 1 mm, faces glabrous or sparsely hairy, eglandular, somewhat viscid; distalmost shorter than arrays. Heads 5-10 in compact, racemiform arrays. Involucres 11-12.5 mm. Phyllaries 13-22, apices erect, attenuate. Florets 5-7; corollas clear yellow, 10-11 mm, tubes glabrous, throats gradually dilated, lobes 1.5-2 mm. 2n = 18.
Flowering late summer-fall. Mountain slopes, dry, stony soils, sagebrush, pinyon-juniper, ponderosa pine, and aspen communities; 1700-3000 m; Colo., N.Mex., Utah.
S. L. Welsh et al. (1987) noted that characteristics used to distinguish var. howardii from var. attenuata (distalmost leaves overtopping arrays and pale-colored florets) fail as diagnostic features for plants from Utah.