Plants 60-120 cm; caudices short, stout. Stems 1-5+, erect to arching, puberulent in arrays and in lines proximal to leaf bases or uniformly. Leaves usually anise-scented when crushed ; basal and proximal usually withering by flowering, tapering to broadly winged petioles, blades oblanceolate, margins entire, short-strigillose, faces glabrous or short scabroso-strigillose along main nerves; mid and distal cauline sessile, blades lanceolate to linear-lanceolate or narrowly ovate, 30-110 × 8-20 mm, much reduced distally, bases rounded, margins entire, midnerves prominent, sometimes scabroso-strigillose basally to much of length, apices acute, faces glabrous, finely translucent gland-dotted. Heads (20-)75-350, in paniculiform arrays, openly secund, pyramidal, proximal to mid branches ascending to spreading, recurved, secund, 3-18 cm. Peduncles thin, 2-8 mm, glabrate to finely puberulent, glabrous strips proximal to few linear-lanceolate bracteoles. Involucres narrowly campanulate, 3.5-5 mm. Phyllaries in 3-4 series, strongly unequal, yellowish, acute, glabrous; outer narrowly ovate to lanceolate, inner lanceolate to linear-lanceolate. Ray florets 3-4(-6); laminae 1.4-2.5 × 0.4-0.9 mm. Disc florets 3-5; corollas 2.7-3.5 mm, lobes 0.5-1.3 mm. Cypselae (obconic) 1.4-2.3 mm, strigose to glabrate; pappi 2.4-3 mm.
Stems 6-16 dm from a short, stout caudex, rough-puberulent in the infl and in lines decurrent from at least the upper lf-bases; lvs chiefly cauline, sessile, entire, glabrous except for the scabrous margins, finely translucent-punctate, anise-scented when bruised (rarely inodorous), not prominently veined, the main ones 4-11 נ0.5-1.5(-2) cm, 5-15 times as long as wide; infl paniculiform, with recurved-secund branches; invol 3.5-5 mm, its bracts slender, acute, yellowish; rays 3-5(6), fairly showy; disk-fls 3-5; achenes short-hairy or subglabrous; 2n=18. Dry, open woods, especially in sandy soil; Mass., N.H., and Vt. to s. O. and s. Mo., s. to Fla. and Tex. Ours is var. odora.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.