Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 10: 87. 1883.
Perennials, (7–) 20–30 (–40+) cm (rhizomes exfoliating). Herbage densely lanate-tomentose, glabrescent (especially on adaxial faces of leaves). Stems single. Leaves mostly basal; petiolate; blades narrowly obovate, (2–) 3–7 (–10) × 1–2 (–3+) cm, bases tapered, margins subentire to denticulate (cauline leaves bractlike). Heads 1 (–3). Calyculi of (1–) 5–8+ linear to filiform bractlets (lengths 1/3–3/4 phyllaries). Phyllaries ± 21, 8–12 mm, tips greenish (with white bristles). Ray-florets ± 13; corolla laminae usually 8–10 mm (sometimes tubular, unexpanded, heads then perhaps technically disciform). Cypselae hairy.
Phenology: Flowering summer.
Habitat: In duff, rocky woodlands, especially in pine-dominated areas
Elevation: 2000–3000 m
Ariz., N.Mex., Mexico (Chihuahua), Mexico (Durango)
Plants of Senecio actinella with relatively small proximal leaves similar to basal leaves and adaxial leaf faces early glabrate have been recognized as var. mogollonicus; the distinction is difficult to maintain. Receptacles in Senecio actinella are sometimes insect-infested.