Herbs, matted, scapose, 0.5-4.5(-5) × 0.5-3 dm, glabrous or glandular, grayish. Stems matted or spreading, occasionally with persistent leaf bases, up to 1/ 5 height of plant; caudex stems matted or absent; aerial flowering stems scapelike, erect, slender, solid, not fistulose, (0.5-)1.5-4.5(-5) dm, glabrous, rarely slightly floccose, or glandular below inflorescence. Leaves basal, fasciculate in terminal tufts, sometimes 1 per node and sheathing up stem 1-4 cm; petiole 1-4(-5) cm, tomentose; blade oblanceolate or lanceolate to elliptic, oblong, or ovate to obovate, (0.6-)1-3.5(-4) × (0.3-)0.5-1.5 cm, densely tomentose abaxially, only slightly less so adaxially, margins plane. Inflorescences capitate, 1.5-2.5 cm; branches absent; bracts 3, scalelike, narrowly triangular, 1-2.5 mm. Peduncles absent or erect, slender, 0.1-0.5(-0.6) cm, glabrous. Involucres 5-8 per cluster, turbinate to campanulate, 3.5-5.5(-6) × (1.5-)2-4.5(-5) mm, rigid, floccose at least on teeth, occasionally glandular, rarely glabrous; teeth 6-8, erect, 0.5-1 mm. Flowers 1.5-3 mm; perianth yellow, glabrous or weakly glandular abaxially; tepals connate proximally, monomorphic, broadly oblong; stamens exserted, 2.5-3.5(-4) mm; filaments pilose proximally. Achenes light brown, (1.5-)2-3 mm, glabrous. Variety ochrocephalum is occasionally seen in rock gardens, and var. calcareum is worthy of cultivation.