This native perennial plant is 4-8' tall and usually unbranched, except for the slender flowering stems in the upper half. The opposite compound leaves are highly variable in appearance, but are usually divided into 3-5 narrow leaflets toward the base of the plant (oddly pinnate), but are smaller and lanceolate as they ascend up the flowering stems. The compound leaves near the base are up to 8" long and 6" across, while the upper leaves are less than 3" long and ¾" across. These leaves have smooth margins and are sparsely distributed along the stems, giving this plant an airy appearance. They are also hairless. Daisy-like compound flowers appear singly on the upper stems during late summer or early fall. Each composite flower is about 1½2" across. There are 6-10 yellow ray florets surrounding numerous brown disk florets. There is no floral scent. The blooming period lasts about 1-2 months. The dark achenes are without tufts of hairs. The root system is fibrous and rhizomatous, often forming loose colonies of plants.