Distribution: Occurring west of the Cascades crest in Washington, chiefly in the coastal counties; Alaska to California, east across Canada to northeastern North America; Greenland and Europe.
Habitat: Along beaches, coastal bluffs and balds, occasionally inland in prairies.
Conservation Status: Not of concern
Scapose, perennial herbs, the 1-several scapes glabrous, 1-5 dm. tall.
Leaves all basal, in dense tufts, narrowly linear, tough and persistent, 5-10 cm. long and 1-3 mm. broad, glabrous to puberulent.
Flowers in dense, head-like clusters subtended by purplish involucral bracts, 1.5-3 cm. broad, terminal on the scapes; flowers in clusters of 3 on short pedicels, subtended by 2 transparent bracts; calyx 5-lobed, funnel-shaped, dry and chaffy, 10-nerved, 5-6 mm. long; corolla 5-lobed nearly to the base, pinkish or purplish; stamens 5, opposite the corolla lobes; styles 5, distinct.