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Perennial herb from a taproot and woody base; stems erect, 1-4, densely stiff-hairy near the base with whitish, crisped hairs or merely woolly-hairy, few branched, 10-30 cm tall.
Basal leaves long-stalked, deeply pinnately cut with lanceolate, toothed lobes, these abruptly sharp-pointed or with long- pointed tips and abruptly callus-tipped teeth, mostly 7-25 cm long, the blades nearly glabrous or woolly-hairy, the midribs and usually the stalks short-hairy; stem leaves similar to the basal ones, becoming reduced upwards.
Heads with strap-shaped flowers, 1-9 in an open inflorescence; involucres 6-17 mm tall, cylindric or bell-shaped; involucral bracts grey-woolly with stout, glandless bristles, these whitish or blackish, the outer ones lanceolate, the longest about 1/2 the length of the inner; ray flowers yellow, 14-22 mm long.
Achenes greenish-black to yellowish- or deep reddish-brown, 7-12 mm long, weakly to strongly 10-ribbed or smooth, longer than or equal to the pappus, narrowed above; pappus of white, hairlike bristles.
Two subspecies occur in BC:
1. Hairs of the stem and stalks stiff, yellowish, those of the involucres blackish, all straight or slightly curved...................... ssp. modocensis
1. Hairs of the stem, stalks, and involucres all, or nearly all, whitish, elongate, and conspicuously curled or crisped, those of the involucres generally very dense.................... ssp. rostrata (Coville) Babc. & Stebb.
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia