Annuals, perennials, or shrubs, 10-400+ cm (usually rhizomatous). Stems erect, decumbent, or prostrate, branched. Leaves usually cauline; opposite ± throughout or opposite (proximal) and alternate or mostly alternate; sessile or petiolate; blades (or lobes) deltate, elliptic, filiform, lanceolate, linear, obovate, ovate, or rhombic (and most intermediate shapes), usually pinnately, sometimes palmately lobed, ultimate margins entire or toothed, faces hairy or glabrate, usually gland-dotted or stipitate-glandular. Heads discoid (unisexual, pistillate proximal to or intermixed with staminates, staminates usually in racemiform to spiciform arrays; rarely, single plants all or mostly staminate or pistillate). Pistillate heads: phyllaries 12-30(-80+) in 1-8+ series, outer (1-)5-8 distinct or ± connate, herbaceous, the rest (sometimes interpreted as paleae) ± connate, usually with free tips forming tubercles, spines, or wings (the whole becoming a hard perigynium or 'bur'); florets 1(-5+), corollas 0. Staminate heads: involucres cup-shaped to saucer-shaped, 1.5-6+ mm diam.; phyllaries 5-16+ in ± 1 series, ± connate; receptacles ± flat or convex; paleae spatulate to linear, membranous, sometimes villous, hirtellous, and/or gland-dotted or stipitate-glandular, sometimes none; florets 5-60+; corollas whitish or purplish, ± funnelform, lobes 5, erect or incurved; staminal filaments connate, anthers distinct or weakly coherent. Cypselae (black) ± ovoid or fusiform, enclosed within globose to obovoid, pyramidal, pyriform, obconic, or fusiform, hard, smooth, tuberculate, spiny, or winged 'burs'; pappi 0. x = 18.