Shrubs, 10-30 cm; with woody, branched caudices, bark becoming dark gray, fibrous with age. Stems ascending, green, sparsely to densely puberulent, sparsely glandular. Leaves ascending to spreading; sessile; blades with faint midnerves and pair of collaterals , narrowly elliptic to oblanceolate, 10-30 × 0.7-1.2 mm, flat to sulcate, apices acute (often apiculate), faces moderately puberulent, sparsely stipitate-glandular. Heads in densely cymiform arrays, often overtopped by distal leaves. Involucres turbinate, 6-10 × 3-4 mm. Phyllaries (12-)14-18 in 3-4 series, ± in vertical ranks, mostly tan, sometimes green-tipped, ovate or oblong to elliptic, unequal, 2.5-7.5 × 1-1.8 mm, chartaceous, outer ± herbaceous wholly or distally, weakly keeled, midveins faint, apices acute to obtuse, faces sparsely puberulent. Disc florets 2-3(-4); corollas 5.5-8 mm, lobes 1-1.7 mm; style branches 2-2.7(-3.4) mm (included in or barely surpassing spreading corolla lobes), appendages 0.8-1.4 mm (lengths about equaling stigmatic portion). Cypselae reddish brown, turbinate, 4-6 mm, densely hairy; pappi tan, 5-7 mm. 2n = 18. Flowering summer-fall. Sagebrush grasslands, open slopes in deserts, tolerant of alkali; 1400-3100 m; Calif., Idaho, Nev., Oreg., Wash.