Basal leaves: longer spines 5-9 mm; distal faces more densely glandular than tomentose. Cauline leaves: longer spines 4-7 mm. Distalmost stem bracts tightly subtending heads or separated from them. Phyllaries 70-120, 28-38 of them reflexed; apical spines 2-3 mm; marginal spines usually absent. Cypselae 3.8-4 mm. 2n = 34. Flowering winter-summer (Jan-Sep). Serpentine seeps, coastal live oak woodlands, grasslands, riparian areas; of conservation concern; 40-300 m; Calif. Variety obispoense is known only from the southern Santa Lucia and San Luis ranges of San Luis Obispo County.