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Biennials.  Stems are stout and thick, often branching throughout; densely very short pubescent and gland-dotted.  Typical height is 3 to 5 feet.

Overall inflorescences are widely diffused, consisting of terminal and numerous branch inflorescences.  Branches are ascending to widely spreadingFlower heads are sessile or borne on short peduncles, distributed along outer 1/2 of branches in a relatively narrow, elongated inflorescence.

Flower heads are discoid; ray florets are absent.  Disc florets are narrowly tubular, bisexual and fertile, corollas are magenta.  Involucres are relatively small (1.5-4.0 cm wide). Involucral bracts are stiff, linear-subulate, the tips hooked.  In fruit, heads readily detach and cling to fur or clothing.

Basal leaves may be present at flowering.  Leaves are ovate, with short-pointed tips, wavy margins (not flat), sometimes coarsely toothed; densely pubescent (whitish) and gland-dotted on undersides.  The lowest leaves are very large.  Mid- to upper leaves are similar, but smaller.

Plants of fields, roadsides, farm yards, open disturbed areas.  Flowers late July through August.  Not native.

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Similar species:  Arctium lappa.

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