Plants 1-50 cm. Heads mostly 3-4 × 4.5-6 mm. Pistillate paleae densely and loosely lanuginose, longest usually 3-4 mm. Staminate corollas 1.3-2 mm. Cypselae 1.8-2.6 mm; pappi: staminate 1.3-1.5 mm. Flowering and fruiting mid Mar-early Jul. Slopes, flats, dry or seasonally moist soils of various substrates (including serpentine), often recently disturbed, in grasslands, chaparral, wooded areas, clearings, mostly inland from coastal fog belt; 10-1600 m; Calif., Oreg.; Mexico (Baja California). Variety californicus is known nearly throughout the west-draining portion of the Californian Floristic Province and the Willamette Valley, from western Oregon to northwestern Baja California, including the California Channel Islands and Isla Guadalupe.