Western marbleseed is perennial plants 30 to 100 cm tall. Leaves are sessile, lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate, hairy on both sides, 50 to 75 mm long. Bracts resemble to the leaves but they are smaller. Flower crown is white or greenish, 12 to 20 mm long, looking frost-like. Stigma sticks out the closed crown. Western marbleseed blossoms from May to July. It grows on the prairies and plains, mostly on dry, stony, and gravely soils. It ranges throughout the Great Plains; on the east up beyond the Mississippi River and as far as the southeast USA.
Cheyennes pulverized the leaves and stems, and mixed them with a bit of grease. The mixture was rubbed on a numb body part to enliven it. They sometimes rubbed it over the whole body. This medicine was used on lumbago or any low back pain (Grinnell 1923 II: 185–6; Tallbull 1993: 72).