This native perennial plant is up to 8' tall, branching regularly. The stems are smooth, round, and hairless, varying from light green to brilliant purplish red. The latter color becomes more prominent as the season progresses. The rather large alternate leaves are up to 10' long and 4' across. They are broadly lanceolate or ovate, with smooth margins, and prominent veins. Their color is often light green or yellowish green, particularly in sunny locations, and they have narrow petioles about ½–1' long.