As its common name implies, erigeron elatior
is somewhat taller than other fleabanes in its habitat of open areas and high elevation meadows - up to 2 feet. The phyllaries are also distinctive; they are long and thin, linear in shape, green or purple in color, and lined with long hairs, longer than the phyllary width. They are angled outwards or curved back down, often with an irregular arrangement. Phyllaries are slightly glandular. Flowerheads contain between 75 and 150 narrow, pinkish-purple ray florets, their corollas nearly one inch long, around a center of about twice that number of orange-yellow disc florets.
There is usually just one flowerhead per stem, but occasionally up to six. Stems have a light to moderate covering of spreading, shaggy hairs. The broad, light green leaves grow at regular intervals all along the stem, and all are approximately equal in size. Leaf edges and faces are lightly covered by hairs, shorter than those on the stems. Leaf margins are entire.