Plants 20-100 cm; caudices branched, woody. Stems 1-5+, erect, puberulent. Leaves: basal and proximal cauline tapering to long petioles, blades oblanceolate to obovate, 50-150 × 10-50 mm, margins serrate, apices acute, faces puberulent; mid to distal cauline sessile, blades lanceolate to linear-elliptic, 10-50 × 3-10 mm, reduced distally, margins becoming entire , apices acute. Heads 15-250 , not secund, in elongate, paniculiform arrays, lateral racemiform clusters short and ascending, sometimes lateral branches elongated and sharply ascending. Peduncles 1.5-3 mm. Involucres campanulate, 3-5 mm. Phyllaries in 3-4 series, appressed, unequal, linear, attenuate, puberulent. Ray florets 9-16 (orange-yellow); laminae 3.5-4.2 × 0.4-0.6 mm. Disc florets (6-)10-15; corollas 2.8-3 mm, lobes 0.5-0.8 mm. Cypselae 0.8-1.3 mm, glabrous or sparsely strigose; pappi 2.2-2.6 mm.
Plants 2-10 dm from a branched caudex, covered with minute, stiffly spreading viscidulous hairs, or glabrate below; lvs basally disposed, the larger ones broadly oblanceolate to elliptic or obovate, serrate, obtuse or acute, mostly 5-15 נ1-3.5 cm, the others more lance-elliptic to lance-linear and entire; infl thyrsoid, dense, often leafy-bracteate, with stiffly ascending, not at all secund branches, or unbranched in small plants; invol 3-5 mm, its bracts narrow, ca 0.5 mm wide or less at midlength, with slender, acuminate, ±subulate tip; rays 9-16; disk-fls (8-)10-18; achenes glabrous or occasionally sparsely hairy; 2n=18. Mostly in open places, generally in sandy or acid soil or rocks; N.S. and s. Que., s. through the coastal and Appalachian states to Fla. and La. Most of our plants are var. puberula, as principally described above. The well marked var. pulverulenta (Nutt.) Chapm., on the coastal plain from s. Va. to Fla. and Ala., has more numerous and smaller lvs (the middle cauline ones commonly 1-4 cm) that are less hairy on the upper surface than on the lower, and has more evenly tapering, scarcely subulate invol bracts to 0.75 mm wide at midlength. (S. pulverulenta)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.