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Perennials from rhizomes, tending to form large colonies.  Stems are often many-branched, sometimes from near base; pubescent with short, appressed or matted hairs.  Typical height is 3 to 6 feet.

The overall inflorescence is often pyramidal in shape, peaked.  Branches are ascending, often arching to recurved.  Branch inflorescences are raceme-like, sometimes elongated.

Flower heads are discoid, very small, containing a mix of pistillate, bisexual and/or staminate florets.  Ray florets are lacking.  Peripheral florets are pistillate and fertile.  Bisexual florets are fertile; the corollas yellowish to reddish.  Involucral bracts largely conceal florets, and are pubescent with matted or cobwebby hairs.

Leaves are highly variable in color, size and shape; generally deeply lobed; the lobes sometimes also lobed.  Upper surfaces are dark to pale green, glabrous or nearly so.  Lower surfaces are whitish with a dense covering of matted hairs.

Cypselae are ellipsoid, without pappus.

Plants of fields, roadsides, open disturbed areas.  Flowers August to September.  Not native.  Invasive in numerous states.

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