Plants 25-85 cm. Corms globose. Stems glabrous. Leaves: basal and proximal cauline 1-nerved, lance-linear to linear, 50-150 × 2-5 mm, gradually or abruptly reduced distally, essentially glabrous (proximal margins sparsely ciliate). Heads in dense, racemiform to spiciform arrays (sometimes strongly to weakly secund, especially if branches reclining, internodes 1-5 mm). Peduncles 0 or (ascending) 1-6(-10) mm. Involucres cylindro-turbinate, (7-)8-9 × 3.5-4 mm. Phyllaries in 3-4 series, ovate-oblong, oblong, or oblong-lanceolate (inner 7.5-10 × 1-1.8 mm), strongly unequal, essentially glabrous, margins with hyaline borders (lacking at apices), ciliolate, apices (inner and middle, sometimes outer) rounded to blunt, involute-cuspidate to short-acuminate. Florets 4-7(-9); corolla tubes pilose inside. Cypselae 3-4(-5) mm; pappi: lengths ± equaling corollas, bristles barbellate. Flowering (Aug-)Sep-Oct. Sand ridges, sandy fields and roadsides, turkey-oak, longleaf pine-oak; 50-150 m; N.C., S.C. Pyne and Stucky noted that variants of Liatris cokeri (apparently intermediate toward L. virgata) occur on the coastal plain of North Carolina and South Carolina.