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Annuals or short-lived perennials.  Typical plant height is 2 to 3+ ft. (6 to 9+ dm).  Plants usually produce 1 stem, which is glabrous, and branched along much of its length.  Flower heads are located at the tips of branches, singly or in small clusters.  Heads are erect in flower, sometimes nodding in fruit.

Flower heads are radiate.  Ray florets are yellow, neuter and infertile.  Disc florets are yellow to yellow-orange at anthesis, bisexual and fertile.  Involucral bracts are in 2 distinctly different series.  The inner series is thin and membranous.  The outer series is herbaceous (green), spreading to reflexed.

Stem leaves are usually opposite (sometimes in whorls of 3-4), lance-linear, neither lobed nor divided, lacking petioles, glabrous.

Cypselae are flattened or sometimes 3-4 angled, broader at the summit, narrowed to the base, angles minutely barbed.  The pappus is of 2-4, minutely barbed awns

Plants of pond and stream shores, edges of marshes, sometimes spreading to adjacent drier sites.  Flowers late August to late September.  Native.

 

Similar species:  B. cernua.

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