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Annuals.  Tap-rooted.  Stems are glabrous.  Typical height is 3 to 5 feet.

Inflorescences are often tall and narrow, containing many steeply ascending branches.  Flower heads are arranged in small clusters at the tips of branches.

Flower heads are discoidRay florets are lacking.  Florets are very small and inconspicuous.  Peripheral florets are pistillate and fertile.  Florets at the center of the disc are bisexual and fertile.  Involucres are cylindrical, much taller than wide.  Primary involucral bracts are of equal length.  A series of much shorter secondary bracts subtends the involucre.

Basal leaves are often deciduous by flowering.  Stem leaves are alternate, lanceolate in overall outline, irregularly lobed and toothed.

Cypselae are cylindrical, 10-12 ribbed, brown.  The pappus consists of many fine, white, minutely-barbed bristles (soon detaching).

Plants of fields, roadsides, thickets, open disturbed areas.  Flowers August to September.  Native.  Our plants are variety hieraciifolius.  (Variety megalocarpus is found on Long Island, and is endangered in New York).

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