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Perennial herb from a diffuse, slenderly-branching stem-base; stems ascending, usually solitary, simple, finely glandular and more or less long-hairy, 1-10 cm tall.
Basal leaves oblanceolate to spoon-shaped, sparsely to moderately long-hairy, often more or less glabrous with maturity, sometimes obscurely glandular, 0.5-3 cm long, 1-5 mm wide, some of them 3-lobed at the tips, the lobing more common in S BC; stem leaves similar, few or lacking, greatly reduced.
Heads with ray and disk flowers, disks 6-15 mm wide; involucres 5-10 mm tall; involucral bracts glandular long-hairy, the multicellular hairs often with purplish crosswalls, subequal, with long-pointed tips, green, yellowish or purplish towards the tips; ray flowers 50-90, white, purplish or pinkish, 4-5 mm long, 0.5-0.9 mm wide; disk flowers 3.5-5 mm long.
Achenes 2-nerved, sparsely to moderately short-hairy; pappus simple or rarely double, the inner pappus of 25-40, white or sometimes reddish-purple tinted bristles, these equal to or surpassing the disk flowers by 1 mm, the outer pappus lacking or of inconspicuous scales.
Douglas (1989, 1995) placed Erigeron pallens in synonymy under E. purpuratus Greene after examining large amounts of material from N BC and the YT. More recently, material from extreme N AK has been recognized as different from the more southern E. pallens and should be recognized as E. purpuratus (D.F. Murray, pers. comm.).
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia