Plants 5-40 cm (rigid). Leaves crowded, grayish; blades mostly 1-nerved, linear, 10-30 × 0.5-1.5 mm, faces sparsely to densely tomentulose, viscidulous; distalmost overtopping arrays. Heads 1-2(-4) at branch tips. Involucres 10-11 mm. Phyllaries 8-12, thinly chartaceous, apices erect to spreading, attenuate. Florets 5-7; corollas 8-9 mm, tubes sparsely strigose, throats gradually dilated, lobes 1.5-1.8 mm . 2n = 18. Flowering late summer-fall. Open subalpine forests, talus, and alpine barrens; of conservation concern; 2800-3700 m; Calif., Nev. Variety monocephala is known from the Sierra Nevada.