Perennials, (1.5-)5-25(-30) cm; rhizomatous, fibrous-rooted, forming diffuse systems of slender, rhizomelike caudex branches. Stems ascending (bases usually purplish), glabrous or sparsely strigose (or hairs loosely spreading), sometimes glandular near heads. Leaves basal (persistent) and cauline; basal (purplish) and proximal blades narrowly oblanceolate to oblong, 20-120 × 2-11 mm, cauline reduced distally, margins entire, ciliate, faces glabrous or loosely strigose, eglandular. Heads 1(-3). Involucres 5-7 × 9-19 mm. Phyllaries in 2-3(-4) series (margins and tips often purplish, loose, linear-lanceolate, apices spreading), sparsely to moderately villous to hirsuto-villous, densely minutely glandular. Ray florets 30-100; corollas pink to bluish purple, 6-15 mm, laminae not reflexing or coiling, sometimes tardily coiling. Disc corollas 3.2-4.7 mm. Cypselae 1.5-2 mm, 2-nerved, faces sparsely strigose; pappi: outer of setae, inner of 10-20 bristles. 2n = 18. Flowering Jul-Sep. Meadows and grassy openings, sagebrush, aspen, lodgepole pine, pine-fir, spruce-fir; 2400-3100(-3700) m; Ariz., Colo., Idaho, Mont., Nev., N.Mex., Utah, Wyo.