Perennials, (8-)15-30(-40) cm; taprooted, caudices branched, retaining old leaf bases. Stems erect, densely gray-green to silvery-strigose (hairs white, closely appressed), eglandular. Leaves basal (persistent) and cauline (leaf bases broadened or not, not thickened and whitish-indurate); basal blades spatulate to oblanceolate or narrowly oblanceolate, (15-)20-50(-70) × 1-4(-6) mm, margins entire, faces silvery-strigose, eglandular ; cauline blades linear to linear-oblanceolate, much reduced distally. Heads 1. Involucres 5.5-9 × (10-)12-22 mm. Phyllaries in 3-4 series, silvery-strigose (hairs closely appressed), minutely glandular. Ray florets 20-50(-75); corollas blue to lavender, less commonly pink or white, 9-15 mm, laminae coiling. Disc corollas 3.8-5.6 mm. Cypselae (terete to slightly compressed) 2.8-3.4 mm, 6-8-nerved, faces strigoso-pilose; pappi: outer of setae or lanceolate scales, inner of 25-40 bristles. 2n = 18.
Flowering May-Jul. Ridges and slopes in dry, sandy or gravelly soil, desert shrub, sagebrush, juniper and pinyon-juniper; 1300-2500 m; Ariz., Calif., Nev., Utah.