Plants 0.4-2.5(-4) × 0.4-2 dm. Stems ascending to erect. Leaf blades usually linear or narrowly spatulate, 1-7 × 0.1-0.6 cm. Inflorescences with slender, light brown branches. Peduncles usually present, 0.5-3 mm. Involucral bracts light brown to yellowish green, 2-4 × 0.5-1 mm, tawny-tomentose. Flowers 5(-12) per involucre, usually obscured by tomentum; perianth 0.5-1.2 mm; outer tepals linear to oblong. Flowering Jan-May. Coastal and desert sands, saltbush, creosote bush, and coastal grassland communities; -10-500 m; Ariz., Calif.; nw Mexico (Baja California, Sonora). Variety gracilis is common in northwestern Mexico and somewhat less so in southwestern Arizona and southern California.