Perennials, 10-50 cm; taprooted, caudices usually with relatively slender and short, often woody branches. Stems ascending (often purplish proximally), hirsutulous (hairs spreading-deflexed), eglandular. Leaves basal (usually persistent) and cauline; basal blades linear-oblanceolate, (30-)60-160 × 3-8(-14) mm, cauline 3-nerved, gradually or little reduced distally (bases attenuate), margins entire (apices acute), faces hirsutulous, eglandular. Heads 1-10(-16) in loosely corymbiform arrays (on branches from distal 1 / 2 of stems, often well beyond middle). Involucres 5-7 × 7-13 mm. Phyllaries in 2-3 series, flat, densely hirsute to hirsuto-villous, sometimes sparsely minutely glandular. Ray florets 35-65; corollas blue or less commonly pink, 7-13 mm, laminae coiling at apices. Disc corollas 4-5.3 mm. Cypselae 2-2.5 mm, 2-nerved, faces sparsely strigose; pappi: outer of setae, inner of 20-30 bristles. 2n = 18. Flowering Jun-Aug. Open slopes, grassland, sagebrush, rabbitbrush, openings in ponderosa pine; 400-2200 m; B.C.; Idaho, Mont., Oreg., Utah, Wash., Wyo.