Subshrubs, 0.4-1 × 1-3 dm. Stems: caudex spreading; aerial flowering stems 0.1-0.3 dm, white- or brownish-floccose to subglabrous. Leaves: blade linear-oblanceolate to narrowly elliptic, 0.3-0.7(-0.9) × 0.1-0.3 cm, densely white-tomentose abax-ially, floccose to subglabrous adaxially, margins usually revolute. Inflorescences 0.5-2(-3) cm; branches floccose to subglabrous. Involucres (1.5-)2-2.5 mm, floccose or glabrous. Flowers 1.5-2.5 mm; perianth white to pink or rose. Achenes 1.5-2 mm. Flowering Jul-Sep. Sandy to gravelly granitic or volcanic slopes, subalpine and alpine conifer woodlands; 2500-3300 m; Calif. Variety alpinum is known only from the central Sierra Nevada and the Sweetwater Range in Alpine, Mono, and Tuolumne counties. It appears to be a high-elevation expression that evolved from var. laxiflorum.