Plants tufted, 10-35 cm. Leaves evenly distributed along stems, margins usually ciliate, sometimes spinulose-dentate, bristles usually 0.5-1.5 mm. Heads 1 or often 2-5. Peduncles 0.5-2 cm, often bracteate to proximal to heads. 2n = 8. Flowering spring-summer. Gypseous or sandy plains or badlands; 1000-2400 m; Alta., Sask.; Ariz., Colo., Idaho, Mont., Nebr., Nev., N.Mex., N.Dak., S.Dak., Utah, Wyo. Variety grindeloides is known to hybridize with Xanthisma coloradoense in southern Wyoming.