Growth Habit: Biennial, spreads by seed. Rosettes are formed on the ground in the first year, while flowering stalk elongates in the second year.
Leaves: Velvety to the touch. Basal leaves are broad and lance-shaped. Upper leaves are narrower, pointed, and are generally clasping the stem.
Stems: Heavy, erect, usually branched above. Can grow up to three feet tall.
Flowers: Dark red in color, very rarely white. 1/4 inch in diameter in terminal clusters.
Roots: Large taproot
Seeds: Fruit consists of four flattened, bur-like nutlets. Each is 1/4 inch long with short, barbed appendages.
Other: Burs easily attach to hair and fur of animals, making it easily transported.