Herbs, forming hemispheric clumps 6-8 dm diam., glabrous or very sparsely puberulent. Stems 2-4 dm. Leaves spreading; petioles of proximal leaves 0.5-0.7 cm; blades of midstem leaves ovate to widely ovate, 4.5-9 × 3.5-5 cm, base obtuse to rounded, often oblique, apex obtuse, rarely acute. Involucres: peduncle 3-10 mm; involucres erect to pendent, 11-30 mm; bracts 6-9, distinct or to 50% connate, apex acute to obtuse, rarely rounded. Flowers 6-9 per involucre; perianth usually magenta, occasionally creamy white, bell-shaped, 1.5-1.8 cm. Fruits mottled olive green, with 10 slender, tan ribs, ellipsoid, 5.5-7 mm, rugulose, glabrous, secreting thick, heavy mucilage when wetted.
Flowering spring-late summer. Gravelly or sandy soils in arid brushlands or pinyon-juniper woodlands; 1200-2000 m; Calif., Colo., Nev., Utah.
Hermidium was once maintained as a genus based on discrete involucral bracts. As discussed by G. E. Pilz (1978), distinct bracts are typical, but involucres with the five outermost bracts united to one-half their length are common.