This native perennial is 2-4' tall. It is unbranched, except for a few small flowering stems near the top of the plant. The stout central stem is covered with fine hairs. The opposite leaves are up to 4" long and 2½" across. They are broadly lanceolate, and either clasp the stem or are sessile. Fine soft hairs cover both the lower and upper sides of the leaves, which are greyish green or bluish green. Their margins are smooth, or have small blunt teeth. The composite flowers develop singly from upper stems, and span about 2½4" across. A composite flower consists of numerous yellow disk florets, and 15-30 surrounding yellow ray florets. The central disk of a composite flower is initially brown because of the bracts of the disk florets, but it later turns yellow. The blooming period occurs from late summer to early fall, and lasts about 1-2 months. There is little scent to the flowers. The dark seeds have a shiny surface, but no tufts of hair. The root system is fibrous and rhizomatous. This plant tends to form dense colonies, in part because the root system exudes allelopathic chemicals that inhibit the growth of other species of plants.