Perennials, 20-80 cm (caudices stout). Stems erect, pilose to stipitate-glandular. Leaves: mid and distal blades lance-elliptic to oblong, 2.5-7 cm × 5-20 mm, glabrous or sparsely pubescent abaxially, ± densely cottony and sometimes stipitate-glandular adaxially. Heads 3-20 in racemiform to corymbiform arrays. Peduncles pilose to stipitate-glandular. Involucres turbinate, 7-11 mm. Phyllaries in 3-5 series (usually reddish at margins and apices), lanceolate (strongly unequal), apices acute to acuminate, abaxial faces puberulent to stipitate-glandular. Rays 5-21, purple. Cypselae pilose; pappus bristles in 2 series, smooth or ± barbellate. 2n = 18. Eucephalus ledophyllus may intergrade with E. engelmannii in the northern part of its range.