Sub-category: Aster family
An annual herb, usually about 20 to 60 cm tall, but it can reach 1.8 meters at times. The stems are square in cross-section and may branch near the top. The leaves are pinnate, divided into a few toothed triangular or lance-shaped leaflets usually up to 6 or 8 cm long, sometimes up to 12. The inflorescence is often a solitary flower head, but there may be pairs or arrays of several heads. The head contains many orange disc florets. It often lacks ray florets but some heads have a few small yellow rays. The fruit is a flat black or brown barbed cypsela up to a centimeter long which has two obvious hornlike pappi at one end. The barbed pappi on the fruit help it stick to animals, facilitating seed dispersal.
Grows near ponds, streams and lakes, pastures and fields, and along roadsides. Blooms early autumn.