Perennials, cespitose to ± mat-forming, 5.5-14 cm; with branched caudices surmounting well-developed taproots. Stems (clothed with marcescent leaf bases) densely stipitate-glandular. Leaves: basal blades ovate to spatulate, 12-40 × 5-12 mm; cauline petiolate (proximal) to sessile and ± clasping (distal), blades oblong to broadly lanceolate, 4-28 × 1-8 mm, markedly reduced distally; 1- or very weakly 3-nerved, margins usually irregularly dentate, rarely (basal, distal) entire, faces densely scabrous (hairs multicellular, conic), stipitate-glandular. Heads (1-)3-7(-11), in racemiform or apparently corymbi-form arrays. Peduncles 0-15 mm (often apparently bracteolate). Involucres narrowly campanulate, 5-9 × 6-10 mm. Phyllaries 18-32, in 3-4 series, often reflexed distally, green, 1-nerved, unequal, proximally chartaceous and ± keeled, margins eciliate, faces stipitate-glandular; outer and mid ovate to oblong, 2-6 × 1-2 mm, apices obtuse to acute; inner linear to narrowly lanceolate, 4-6 × 1-2 mm, margins scarious, stipitate-glandular distally, apices acute to acuminate. Ray florets 0. Disc florets 13-23; corollas funnelform to ± ampliate distally, 3.5-5.5 mm, scarcely exceeding involucres, lobes erect to slightly spreading, 0.8-1 mm, 1 / 5 - 1 / 4 corolla length; anthers 1.6-2.1 mm; style-branch appendages lanceolate, 0.7-1.1 mm, stigmatic lines 0.6-1.1 mm. Cypselae cylindric, 1.5-3 mm, weakly 4-7-nerved, faces strigose; pappus bristles 25-35, brittle. 2n = 18. Flowering and fruiting mid-late summer. Crevices of granite outcrops; of conservation concern; 2400 m; Nev. Tonestus graniticus is known only from the Great Basin, from the east side of Lone Mountain, Esmeralda County.