Stems 10-20 cm, glabrous. Leaves: basal blades erect to spreading or widely so, needlelike, 2-3.5 cm × 0.3-0.6 mm, herbaceous. Inflorescences capitate, congested cymes; bracts scattered within inflorescence. Pedicels 1-5 mm, glabrous. Sepals conspicuously 3-veined, 5-6.5 mm, apex acute to acuminate. Flowering spring-early summer. Open, rocky slopes; 1300-3700 m; Calif., Nev. We consider var. wheelerensis, known from only a few sites in Elko, Lincoln, and White Pine counties, Nevada, to be an alpine extreme of the more widely distributed var. simulans. This is similar to the interpretation of M. F. Baad (1969), who considered that var. wheelerensis may be intermediate between var. simulans and var. subcongesta.