Annuals, biennials, or perennials (monocarpic). Leaf blades 70-200 × (5-)20-40 mm, margins of basal usually pinnately lobed, lobes ± linear. Involucres 7-20 × 6-12+ mm. Phyllaries deltate to lanceolate, ± arachnose. Cypselae 8-17 mm (± stipitate); pappi 8-17 mm. 2n = 14. Flowering May-Jul. Disturbed sites; 1000-1800 m; introduced; Colo., Kans., Mont., Nebr., N.Mex., Okla.,Tex., Utah, Wyo.; Europe. (Note: Oklahoma and Utah added to FNA distribution)
In drier habitats, stems become prostrate; otherwise erect. Often grows with Tragopogon dubius and may be confused with that species but is normally much shorter with smaller flowers and smaller seed heads. Spreads rapidly and appears to be invasive.