Gold stars are a small annual to 6 or 7 inches tall. The leaves are fleshy and mostly basal, entire margined to coarsely toothed, and spatulate in shape. The basal leaves are up to 2.5 cm long and 1 cm wide. The flower stem is single or occasionally branched into two or three stems at the base of the leaves. I've notice vigorously branched and almost bushy plants in areas burnt the previous year.
The flower heads are daisy-like, with 5-13 (usually 8) yellow rays 4-10 mm in length, and numerous yellow disk flowers. The disk is typically about 1 cm wide.
Gold stars bloom from March into May.
Gold stars are found on moist banks and fields, sandy plains, and cliff ledges which dry during the summer.
Gold stars are found from Vancouver Island south through Puget Sound and west of the Cascades to northern California and southwestern Oregon. East of the Cascades it extends up the Columbia River Gorge to the western base of the Blue Mts in Walla Walla County, WA and Umatilla County, OR. It also extends northward into the Yakima River basin into Kittitas County, WA, and southward to northern Deschutes County, OR.