Distinguishing characteristics of erigeron coulteri
include the pure white rays, the clasping leaf bases, the equal-length phyllaries, and the colors of the hairs on the phyllaries (both white and black). Plants inhabit moist, mountainous locations at medium to high elevations, flowering late summer.
Leaves near the base of the stem may have a few pairs of teeth and a light covering of hairs, while those higher up the stem are generally entire, less hairy, and more narrowly ovate in shape.
A plant produces between one and four flowerheads, consisting of 45 to 140 thin white ray florets (up to one inch long), around a center of several hundred yellow disc florets. Phyllaries are linear to lanceolate in shape, with pointed tips, and a covering of long, straggly, white hairs, and also shorter, darker hairs. Stems are also somewhat hairy.