Annuals, 1-6 cm (low-growing, densely cespitose, herbage glabrous); taprooted. Stems 1-25+, ± prostrate, simple or branched, glabrous. Leaves basal and cauline, crowded; petiolate or sessile; basal blades ± oblanceolate, margins dentate or pinnately lobed and crustose-denticulate, cauline progressively reduced to oblanceolate, crustose-denticulate bracts. Heads (1-3) borne singly or 2-3 in bract axils. Peduncles not distally inflated, often bracteate. Calyculi of 5-8, linear to oblanceolate bractlets in ± 1 series, apices expanded, crustose-denticulate). Involucres cylindric to urceolate, 3-8+ mm diam. Phyllaries 5-8+ in 1-2 series, commonly purplish-tinged, linear, equal, margins scarious, apices acute. Receptacles ± flat, smooth, glabrous, epaleate. Florets 7-18; corollas white to pale yellow, becoming pink-purple (especially when dry). Cypselae straw-colored or light brown, subcylindric or slightly flattened, often curved, abruptly beaked, obtusely 4-5-angled, ribs transversely roughened, alternating with 5 rows of pits, glabrous or minutely puberulent; pappi falling (outer, individually) or ± persistent (inner, connate at bases in easily fractured rings), of 50-80+, white, barbellulate to smooth bristles in 3-4+ series. x = 9. A molecular phylogenetic investigation by J. Lee et. al (2003) provided evidence that Glyptopleura is part of a primarily western North American radiation in Cichorieae. That study did not resolve the relationship of Glyptopleura to other genera within the radiation.