Plants deciduous to evergreen by production of new growth, sprawling, climbing over other plants. Stems weak, 5-10 mm diam., branches at right angles. Leaf blades 30-70 × 10-15(-20) mm, reduced distally, membranous, bases auriculate-clasping, apices acuminate. Heads 1-15 per branch. Peduncles 1-4 cm, densely pilose; bracts lanceolate to ovate, 3-10 mm. Ray florets: laminae 9-15(-20) × 1-1.6 mm; style-branch appendages narrowly triangular. Disc florets corollas 6-8 mm, limbs 50-60% corollas, lobes 0.6-1.1 mm, 10-20% corollas. Cypselae usually tan to brown, sometimes mottled purple to black between light colored ribs, 3.5-4.3 mm; pappi shorter than disc corollas. 2n = 18. Flowering peak late fall-winter, year round (Fla.). Marshy shores, stream banks, edges of swamps and moist thickets, wet woodlands; 0-30 m; Fla., Ga., N.C., S.C. Ampelaster carolinianus grows on the outer coastal plain. It is possibly extirpated in North Carolina.