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Perennial herb from a fibrous-rooted, branched, woody stem-base; stems ascending to erect, simple, long-hairy, 13-30 cm tall.
Basal leaves few, soon deciduous; stem leaves reduced below, the others uniform except for the reduced uppermost ones, linear with spiny tips, 1.5-4.0 cm long, 1-4 mm wide, unstalked, short, appressed-hairy, entire.
Heads with ray and disk flowers, solitary; involucres 8-13 mm tall; involucral bracts graduated, linear to lance-linear, with long-pointed tips, fine appressed-hairy with a greenish or sometimes purplish midline and more or less papery margin; ray flowers 13, sometimes more, violet, 10-20 mm long; disk flowers yellow.
Achenes several-nerved, with stalked glands and fine hairs; pappus straw-colored, double, the outer bristles as much as 1 mm long.
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia