Plants 3.5-10(-15) cm; proximal indument grayish, sparsely arachnoid, glabrescent. Stems mostly 1-5; branches mainly proximal. Leaves basal (withering) and cauline (not notably smaller or sparser distally), 1-4 cm; largest blades ± oblanceolate, plane, ± succulent, not lobed (margins entire or distally ± crenate). Heads mostly 1-5(-12) per stem. Peduncles 0.5-2.5 cm, glabrescent distally (sparsely arachnoid early; bracts 1-2, leaflike, surpassing heads). Involucres ± hemispheric to campanulate. Phyllaries: longest 6-9(-10) mm (surpassed by florets); outer (uniformly) sparsely arachnoid to glabrescent in fruit, not stipitate-glandular (inner apically brownish-villosulous), apices usually erect, blunt, ± rigid. Florets: corollas (diurnal) white to pinkish, 3-7 mm (± equaling cypselae; anthers exserted); peripheral corollas ± erect, actinomorphic, scarcely enlarged. Cypselae 4-6 mm; pappi of (8-)10-14 scales in 2-3 gradually unequal series, longest scales 1.5-3.5 mm. 2n = 12. Flowering late Apr-Jun. Light-colored shrink-swell clay soils from volcanic ash and tuff, semiarid shrublands; of conservation concern; 700-1300(-1800) m; Idaho, Oreg. Chaenactis cusickii is known from Malheur County, Oregon, and adjacent Owyhee and Canyon counties, Idaho. Its relationship to other species is obscure.