The plant is erect, often forming colonies. Flowers are small yellow heads held above the foliage on a branching inflorescence.
It is found in a variety of habitats, although it is not shade tolerant. It typically is one of the first plants to colonize an area after disturbance (such as fire) and rarely persists once shrubs and trees become established. It is found neither in very dry locations nor in waterlogged ones. Although considered an invasive plant in some parts of the continent, it is often grown as an ornamental in flower gardens.