Plants: Perennial shrubs 16-59" (40-150 cm) tall, either
erect or spreading. They prefer sandy or rocky soil, and dry creekbeds, deserts, mountainsides, and mesas.
Leaves: Leaves are linear, ⅜-1¾" (1-5 cm) long by
up to ⅛" (3 mm) wide. They are sessile—attached directly to the stem—and
alternate. Stems have a resinous coating. Plants are drought deciduous—they drop
leaves in high summer heat to conserve water.
Flowers: These composite flowers
are bright yellow, and up to 1¾" (4.5 cm) in diameter. Each flower has
3-18 ray florets, each ¼-½" (7-15 mm) long; and 16-60 disc florets. Flowerheads
appear at the ends of long leafless stems. They appear from March to May.
Fruits: Achenes are tan to brown,
⅛-³/₁₆" (4-5 mm) long and narrow, with a pappus of bristles, each
⅛-¼" (6-7 mm) long.