Plants 5-40 cm. Stems erect, simple or sparingly branched from bases, obscurely striate. Leaves: proximal blades linear. 50-150 × 1-3 mm, ± lax (margins entire or rarely laciniately-lobed); cauline similar, reduced to scales distally. Heads 1-5(-30), in loose, corymbiform arrays. Involucres subcylindric, 18-21 × 6-8 mm, apices narrow. Florets 6-12; corollas pink to lavender. Cypselae 10-13 mm, faces smooth, not sulcate. 2n = 18. Flowering May-Jun. Open sites, alluvial, sandy, or gravelly soils, juniper-sagebrush scrub; 1200-2800 m; Colo., N.Mex., Utah, Wyo. Variety grandiflora is recognized by its relatively large, pink corollas and 8-12 phyllaries. The size of the plants varies and stems are often somewhat woody near the bases. This variety appears to intergrade with var. arizonica and var. dianthopsis (S. L. Welsh et al. 2003).