Perennials, 30–150 cm. Stems 1–few, erect or ascending, openly branched distally, villous to scabrous with septate hairs, loosely tomentose, ± glabrate. Leaves: basal and proximal cauline petiolate, blades oblanceolate or elliptic, 5–25 cm, margins entire or shallowly dentate to irregularly pinnately lobed; distal cauline sessile, not decurrent, gradually smaller, blades linear to lanceolate, entire or dentate. Heads radiant, in few-headed corymbiform arrays, leafy-bracted pedunculate. Involucres ovoid to campanulate or hemispheric, 15–l8 mm, usually about as wide as high. Principal phyllaries: bodies lanceolate to ovate, loosely tomentose or glabrous, usually concealed by expanded appendages, appendages usually light brown, erect, overlapping, ± concave, usually roundish, margins pale, broad, entire to coarsely dentate, membranous. Inner phyllaries: tips truncate, irregularly dentate or lobed. Florets 40–100+; corollas purple (rarely white), those of sterile florets ± expanded, exceeding corollas of fertile florets, those of fertile florets 15–18 mm. Cypselae tan, 2.5–3 mm, finely hairy; pappi absent. 2n = 22, 44.