GROWTH HABIT: Annual or biennial, bushy, up to 2 ft., tall. Rosette formed first year, flowering stalk elongates second year.
LEAVES: Greyish-green, alternate, basal leaves whorled, upper leaves much reduced. Covered with fine hair.
STEM: Hairy, erect, single main stem from a rootstock, branched near or above the base.
FLOWER: Solitary, usually white, sometimes pink, rose or lavender; seedhead bracts end as sharp, rigid spines.
ROOTS: Elongated taproot.
SEEDS: Oblong, dark brown or grey with longitudinal lines.
OTHER: May seriously reduce productive potential of infested rangelands.