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Crepis nana occurs in North America and northern Asia. It is recognized by the tufted, cespitose habit, elongate roots and rhizomes, and occurrence in alpine habitats. In the typical form, the plants are tufted, the stems are not leafy, and the heads are borne among the leaves. Taller specimens with elongated, leafy branches and heads borne well beyond the basal leaves are sometimes recognized as subsp. ramosa; these characteristics appear to be part of the normal range of variation for the species.