Stems (gray to white) mostly simple, 30-80 cm, tomentose. Leaves gray; blades linear to narrowly elliptic, 3-11 cm, margins plane (proximalmost entire or apically lobed, lobes to 1/3 blade lengths; cauline 1.5-11 × 1-1.5 cm, entire or lobed to pinnatifid), faces densely tomentose. Heads in congested, paniculiform or racemiform arrays 5-30 × 1-4 cm. Involucres 3-4 × 2-4 mm. Florets: pistillate 5-12; bisexual 6-30; corollas 1.9-2.8 mm. 2n = 18, 36. Flowering mid summer-late fall. Disturbed roadsides, open meadows, rocky slopes; 100-3000 m; Alta., B.C., Man., N.B., Ont., P.E.I., Que., Sask.; Ala., Ariz., Ark., Calif., Colo., Conn., Del., Ga., Idaho, Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., La., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., Mont., Nebr., N.H., N.J., N.Mex., N.Y., N.C., N.Dak., Ohio, Okla., Penn., R.I., S.C., S.Dak., Tenn., Tex., Utah, Vt., Va., Wash., Wis., Wyo. Subspecies ludoviciana is widespread in North America in diverse habitats. It is the most common subspecies and the most variable morphologically.
From Flora of Indiana (1940) by Charles C. Deam
Reported by Peattie as rare in the Calumet region. In 1923 I found a colony about 4 feet square along the railroad about 2 miles north of Rochester, Fulton County. In 1930 I found it scattered over a large area in a fallow field in Newton County about 6 miles southwest cf Fair Oaks. I have not been able to check its persistence at either of these locations, but I believe it is established at the Newton County location. In 1935 I found a small colony near the top of the 160 foot bluff of the Wabash River at Merom, Sullivan County.