Plants erect, 1-6 dm. Stems usually stout, (1-)5-15 cm. Leaf blades 1-7 cm. Inflorescences: bracts (2-)3, triangular, awns 0.2-0.5 mm. Peduncles (1-)2-5(-7.5) cm. Involucres: awns (10-)13-30(-36), ivory colored, (3-)4-5 mm. 2n = 40. Flowering Jun-Oct. Sandy to gravelly flats and slopes, chaparral communities, montane conifer woodlands; 1900-2600 m; Calif. Variety parishii occurs from the Pine Mountains, Ventura County, eastward through the San Gabriel Mountains to the central San Bernardino Mountains of San Bernardino County. It is the most common expression of the species.