Annuals (winter annuals), 1-45 cm; fibrous-rooted. Stems erect to decumbent-ascending, not pan-nose (indument whitish, like closely appressed, polished cloth, hairs usually not individually evident). Leaves basal and cauline, basal present through flowering, blades oblanceolate to oblanceolate-spatulate, 2-6(-7) cm × 5-13 mm (gradually smaller, becoming linear bracts distally), faces bicolor, abaxial closely white-pannose, adaxial sparsely arachnose (light green, hairs persistent, closely appressed, nearly microscopic). Heads initially in ± continuous, cylindric arrays 3-5(-7) cm × 10-12 mm (pressed), later sometimes interrupted and 7-20 cm (producing axillary glomerules from proximal nodes). Involucres cylindro-campanulate, 3.5-4 mm, bases sparsely arachnose. Phyllaries in 4-5 series, outer ovate, lengths 1/3 inner, apices acute to acute-acuminate, inner oblong-lanceolate, laminae (± striate) purplish (at stereome and on distal margins or not at all), apices acute to acute-acuminate (not apiculate, slightly flaring outward in fruit). Florets: bisexual 2-4; all corollas brownish yellow to purple distally (sometimes purple only on adaxial faces of lobes in bisexual corollas). Cypselae (purple) 0.5-0.6 mm. Flowering (Mar-)Apr-May(-Jun). Disturbed, open sites, roadsides, banks, woods edges and clearings, fields, flood plains, pastures, sandy, loamy, and clay soils; 0-200 m; Ala., Ark., Fla., Ga., La., Miss., N.C.