Plants (10-)18-80 cm. Stems 2-10, erect or ascending, pale or reddish, often stout, usually glabrous, often tomentose distally. Leaves: basal petiolate, blades oblanceolate to spatulate or narrowly elliptic, 80-450 × 5-60 mm (firm, leathery, succulent), margins entire or undulate, eciliate, apices acute or obtuse, faces usually glabrous, rarely puberulent, eglandular; cauline sessile, blades lanceolate, 10-120 × 5-30 mm, bases clasping. Heads usually borne singly, terminal, sometimes 2-6 (not subtended by leaflike bracts). Peduncles 1-5 cm. Involucres hemispheric, 10-20 × 15-60 mm. Phyllaries in 2-3 series (loose), usually green, sometimes yellowish, oblong to spatulate, 9-15 mm, subequal, margins pale, entire or denticulate, eciliate, apices ± erect, obtuse, broad. Ray florets 30-90; corollas (bright yellow) 9-30 mm. Disc florets 100+; corollas 7-13 mm. Cypselae narrowly oblong, compressed, 5-8 mm, 4-angled, faces striate, glabrous; pappi tawny, 6-12 mm. Pyrrocoma crocea is recognized by its thick stems, large, firm leaves, and large heads with oblong to spatulate phyllaries. H. M. Hall (1928) considered it the ancestral form of Pyrrocoma because of its large heads, numerous florets, long rays, and short style-branch appendages. R. A. Mayes (1976) suggested it is closely related to P. integrifolia.
General: Perennial, 10-80 cm tall, robust; stems 1-10, erect to ascending, stout, pale to reddish, glabrous, often tomentose above; caudex branched; taproot woody. Leaves: Basal (firm, often tufted) and cauline, alternate, oblanceolate, spatulate, or narrowly elliptic, 8-45 cm long, 0.5-6 cm wide, reduced upwards, usually glabrous, seldom puberulent, margins entire, often wavy; basal blades petiolate, cauline blades sessile, the upper ones often clasping. Flowers: Heads solitary or 3-5 in loose corymb-like arrays; bractlets subtending the involucre 8-13 in 1-2 series, triangular to awl-shaped, 2-5 mm long; involucre cylindric, 12-20 mm long, 4-5 mm wide; phyllaries 13-16 in 2 series, narrowly lanceolate, with small horn-like projections below the apex; ray flowers only, mostly 30- 60, 15-20 mm long, yellow; flowers May-September. Fruits: Achene, narrowly oblong, 5-8 mm long, compressed, 4- angled, the surfaces striate and glabrous; pappus of 15- 60 tan or brownish bristles. Ecology: Mountain meadows, openings in coniferous forests, roadsides; 1800-2900 m (6000-9500 ft); Apache, Coconino, Greenlee, and Navajo counties; southwestern U.S. Notes: Two varieties occur in our region and are distinguished as follows: var. crocea is large and robust (30-80 cm tall), with solitary heads, large involucres (1.5-2 cm long, 2-4 cm wide) and large ray flowers (13-35 mm long); var. genuflexa is smaller and more slender (10-30 cm tall), with 2-6 heads, smaller involucres (1-1.5 cm long, 1.5-2 cm wide), and smaller ray flowers (9-12 mm long). Editor: Springer et al. 2008