Perennials, 40-100 cm. Stems single, simple or virgately branched, woolly-pubescent when young, glabrescent. Leaves green at flowering (spreading at bases); blades oblanceolate to spatulate, 10-20 cm, margins entire or irregularly toothed, teeth remote, faces woolly-pubescent, glabrescent; cauline much reduced distally, margins entire or irregularly toothed. Heads borne singly along branches. Peduncles ± 0. Calyculi 0 (or bractlets intergrading with phyllaries). Involucres 12-15 mm (phyllaries 20-25 in 2-3 series, appressed, 2-15 mm, unequal, puberulent; receptacles pitted, each socket 5-sided, surrounded by minute, raised, scaly fringe). Florets 10-13. Cypselae tan or grayish tan, 5-6 mm, faces smooth, grooved (grooves sometimes absent or only visible as fine lines or striations) ; pappi of 20-25, tan to pale brown bristles (persistent), wholly plumose. 2n = 16.
Flowering May-Nov. Sandstone, granitic, volcanic, or serpentine soils in coastal scrub and foothill canyons, chaparral, mixed evergreen forests; 50-1500 m; Calif.
Stephanomeria cichoriacea grows primarily in the coastal mountains from southern Monterey County to the San Bernardino Mountains, Santa Ana Mountains, and the Channel Islands.