Plants with a thickened, hard, corm-like base, sometimes rhizomatous as well, the several puberulent or hirtellous or occasionally subglabrous stems 1.5-5 dm, lvs thick and firm, obscurely veined except for the evident midrib and sometimes a single pair of narrowly divergent laterals, entire or nearly so, not evidently sheathing below, the basal with elliptic blade 2-6 cm נ8-20 mm, shorter than the petiole, often deciduous, the cauline narrower and most of them sessile, 1.5-9 cm נ2.5-14 mm, 4-12(-15) times as long as wide; heads several or rather many in a short and broad, usually sparsely bracteate, corymbiform infl, narrow, the invol narrowly obconic or turbinate, 7-12 mm, its relatively broad, firm bracts glabrous or obscurely puberulent, imbricate, the outer shortly green-tipped, the inner scarcely so or merely purple margined, commonly some of or all them shortly squarrose; rays 8-14, blue-violet to rose-purple, often rather pale, 5-8 mm; achenes thinly strigillose or glabrate; 2n=18. Dry, sandy places, often among pines; coastal plain from N.J. to Ga.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.