is a large flowered, easily-recognized species; the flowerheads measure 2 to 3 inches in diameter, formed of 15 to 25 lightly grooved yellow ray florets, with 3 notches at the top, around a one inch wide domed center containing numerous, yellow-brown disc florets. The green phyllaries resemble the finely divided, mostly basal leaves, being thin, hairy and rather straggly. Phyllaries are in 2 or 3 rows, and are up to 1 inch long.
The flowers tend to obscure the small foliage, making the plant very noticeable, more so since it inhabits open, treeless locations in the high mountains, where most other species produce much smaller blooms. The green, purple-tinted stems are short but thick, and they too have a dense hair covering. A single plant produces up to ten stems, which may branch a few times, near the base.