Perennials, 40-150 cm, colonial; long-rhizomatous. Stems 1-5+, ascending to erect, densely puberulent to lanate, especially distally. Leaves thickish, margins entire or shallowly crenate, apices acute to ± obtuse, faces densely lanate-puberulent; basal withering by flowering, petiolate, blades obovate to elliptic, 30-150 × 10-40 mm, bases cuneate to rounded, margins entire, ciliolate, apices acute, faces densely cinereous to lanate; proximalmost cauline sometimes withering by flowering, subpetiolate or sessile, blades obovate-lanceolate to elliptic, 50-100 × 10-25(-35) mm, bases cuneate, clasping, ± auriculate, apices usually acute; distal sessile, blades 20-60(-80) × 9-16(-20) mm, bases rounded to auriculate. Heads in paniculiform, very leafy arrays, branches 4-10(-20) cm. Peduncles densely lanate, bracts 1-8, elliptic, margins ciliolate, apices acute, puberulent. Involucres campanulate, 6-10 mm. Phyllaries in 4-6 series, oblanceolate (outer) to linear (inner), unequal, bases scarious (outer sometimes foliaceous), margins slightly scarious, entire, green zones obovate to elliptic, apices acute, faces densely lanate to cinereous. Ray florets 18-40; corollas violet, laminae (8-)12-20 × 1-2(-2.5) mm. Disc florets 35-80+; corollas yellow, 6-9 mm, lobes triangular, 0.4-1 mm. Cypselae brown, cylindric to obovoid, not compressed, 3.5-4.5 mm, 4-5-nerved, faces sparsely hairy; pappi tawny, (6-)7-9 mm. 2n = 80. Flowering Aug-Sep. Dry grasslands, meadows, stream banks, openings in Ponderosa pine woodlands; of conservation concern; 500-1200 m; Idaho, Wash. Symphyotrichum jessicae is known only from the Palouse and Clearwater river drainages of eastern Washington and adjacent northwestern Idaho.