Perennials, 10-30 cm (rhizomes stout). Stems 1-3, branches ascending, glabrous. Leaves green (at least cauline) at flowering; blades linear to lanceolate, shallowly runcinate, 2-6 cm (relatively thick and firm), margins pinnately lobed (thickened, usually minutely, sharply spinose, faces glabrous) . Heads borne singly along branches. Peduncles 2-10 mm (bracteate). Calyculi of (6-8) appressed bractlets (unequal, lengths to 1/2 phyllaries). Involucres 10-14 mm. Florets (8-)10-13. Cypselae tan, 4.5-6 mm, (ribs well developed) faces slightly bumpy, grooved; pappi of 10-15, tan bristles (connate in groups of 2-4, bases persistent), plumose on distal 80%. 2n = 32. Flowering May-Jun. Open, sandy and gravelly slopes in Upper Sonoran Zone, many plant communities, desert mountains; 700-2000 m; Ariz., Calif. Nev., Utah.