GROWTH HABIT: Perennial, 1 to 4 feet tall.
LEAVES: Form in a basal rosette, sharply toothed, and wither as the flower stem develops. Leaves of the stem are inconspicuous, narrow and entire.
STEMS: Starting at the stem base for 4 to 6 inches, stems usually have downwardly bent coarse hairs; smooth stems above.
FLOWER: Flowering heads are scattered on branches, approximately 3/4 inch diameter, with 7 to 15 yellow, strap-shaped flowers.
ROOTS: Extensive and deep root system makes skeletonweed difficult to control.
SEEDS: Pale brown to nearly black, about 1/8 inch long. Body of seed is several-ribbed, smooth below with tiny scaly projections above, terminated by a long beak with numerous soft white bristles.
OTHER: Cut surfaces of the leaves and stems exude a milky latex. Flowering and seed production occur from mid-July through frost.