Stems usually erect, sometimes decumbent or arching. Leaves (at least mid cauline) obovate or elliptic to oblanceolate, 4.5–8(–11) × 1–3 cm, (petioles or blade bases usually with 1–2+ spine-tipped teeth) margins dentate to serrate (usually only proximal 1/3–1/2, rarely most of each margin), faces usually villous (longer hairs) and/or sericeous (shorter hairs), rarely glabrous. Heads borne singly (peduncles 2–6 cm). Involucres globose, 5–8 mm. Phyllaries 20–40 in 3–4 series (reflexed in fruit, outer shorter, apices spine-tipped, inner similar, spines spreading to erect, faces sericeous). Paleae: apices spine-tipped. Ray florets 15–30; laminae 6–8 × 2.5–6 mm. Disc florets 20–75; corollas 5–6.5 mm, lobes 1.75–2.5 mm. Cypselae 2.5–4(–5) mm, 3–4-angled. 2n = usually 28, rarely 42 (2n = 3x).