Plants 30-100 cm; caudices woody, rhizomes elongate, branching, woody, forming new centers of growth. Stems 1-20, erect, finely scabroso-puberulent, sparsely so with age proximally, densely so distally. Leaves: basal and proximal cauline withering by flowering, subsessile, gradually tapering to short-winged petiole-like bases; mid and distal cauline sessile, blades linear-elliptic to linear-lanceolate, 40-90 × 4-5 mm, 3-nerved from base, midnerves prominent, margins entire, finely scabrous, apices attenuate-acute, faces finely, sparsely to moderately strigose, more so on main nerves, finer nerves translucent, faces sometimes shiny. Heads 25-350 , in short to elongate, secund pani-culiform arrays, branches ascending or ascending and distally recurved, sometimes second, sometimes elongate. Peduncles 2-6 mm, finely strigose; bracteoles 1-10, often crowded, linear-lanceolate, 2-3 mm, grading into phyllaries. Involucres narrowly campanulate, 3.5-4 mm. Phyllaries in 3-4 series, linear-lanceolate, strongly unequal, margins hyaline, distally subulate-ciliate, apices acute, glabrous. Ray florets 4-5; laminae 1.5-2.5 × 0.5 mm. Disc florets 6-8, 3-3.5 mm, lobes 0.5 mm. Cypselae (narrowly obconic) 1.5-2.5 mm, sparsely strigillose; pappi 3 mm. 2n = 18.
Flowering Sep-Oct. Mixed gypsum and shale soils, rocky slopes, escarpments, and ridges in high plains; 400-1200 m; Okla., Tex.