Mountain townsendia as seen from the pass along the Frances Lake Trail, Eagle Cap Wilderness............July 25, 1997.
Mountain townsendia is an attractive, low-growing perennialwildflower of high alpine slopes. The crowded leaves are largely basal with one to several erect stems arising from 2-4 cm high. The blades are broadly to narrowly spatulate, tapering to a slender petiole. The leaves measure 1-3.5 cm long.
A single flower head is found atop the short stem. The cup-shaped involucre is about 7-9 mm high, the lanceolate bracts of about 3 lengths with acute to obtuse tips. Individual bracts have red-tinged margins and are slightly pubescent. The central disk is yellow with up to 30 bluish or violet rays surrounding it. Individual rays measure 6-8 mm long.
Mountain townsendia may be found on dry open places, often in sand or gravel among rocks or on cliffs. It may be found at elevations from 7000 to 8500+ feet.
Mountain townsendia may be found from the Wallowa Mts of northeastern Oregon, northeast through central Idaho into southwest Montana, and southeast to Wyoming and Utah.