Biennials or perennials (perhaps flowering first year), 15-30(-60) cm. Stems erect, usually reddish, sometimes stramineous, glabrous. Cauline leaf blades spatulate or oblanceolate to oblong or lanceolate, 15-70 mm, lengths 3-5(-7) times widths, bases ± cuneate or clasping, margins usually dentate or serrate (teeth apiculate), sometimes entire, apices rounded or obtuse to acute, faces glabrous (or, near margins, scabridulous) and sparsely to densely gland-dotted. Heads usually in open, corymbiform to paniculiform arrays, seldom borne singly. Involucres broadly urceolate to globose, 8-11 × 10-20 mm. Phyllaries in 5-6 series, linear or lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate, apices looped to hooked (outer) or recurved to nearly straight, terete to subulate or acuminate, slightly to moderately resinous. Ray florets 18-27; laminae 10-15 mm. Cypselae whitish or stramineous, 2.5-5 mm, apices smooth or weakly coronate, faces smooth or finely furrowed; pappi of 4-8 straight, barbellate to barbellulate bristles or setiform awns 2.5-5.5 mm, shorter than disc corollas. 2n = 12.
Flowering Jul-Aug. Dry, open, sandy or gravelly slopes, ridges, valleys, stream banks, waste grounds; 1600-2900 m; Colo., Wyo.