Plants 5-30 cm. Stems erect, tan to reddish brown, glabrous or villous. Leaves: basal withering by flowering; cauline margins entire or dentate to pinnately lobed, faces eglandular, abaxial glabrous or villous. Heads usually borne singly, rarely in corymbiform arrays, at ends of branchlets. Involucres obconic to campanulate, 4-8 mm. Phyllaries purple-tipped, sometimes sparsely sessile-glandular, villous; inner scarious. Disc florets 20-40; corollas yellow (tubes with brown-purple band inside); style-branch appendages ± truncate-penicillate, 0.1-0.4 mm. Pappi tan, equaling or longer than cypselae. 2n = 10. Flowering Jun-Nov. Remnant sand dunes in coastal scrub: of conservation concern; 20-100 m; Calif. Lessingia germanorum is listed (federal and state) as endangered and is known only from the Presidio (San Francisco County) and near San Bruno Mountain (San Mateo County).