Leaf blades 5-15+ × 3-10+ cm, marginal teeth 17-22 on each side. Phyllaries 10-13(-14) mm. Corollas 8-10 mm. Cypselae 4-6 mm; pappi 8-10+ mm. 2n = 56. Flowering summer. Forests, edges of openings in spruce-fir and hardwood regions; of conservation concern; 1400-2000 m; N.C., Tenn. Rugelia nudicaulis is known mostly from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the North Carolina-Tennessee border.