Annual herb to 60 cm, softly pilose with spreading hairs and usually glandular ones in addition. Stems without wings. Lower leaves sessile or petiolate, usually sessile and progressively smaller upwards; lamina up to 7 × 3 cm, narrowly obovate to elliptic, from silky-villous to glabrescent on both sides; base cuneate; apex acute or apiculate; margin serrate. Capitula c.7 × 8 mm, in dense terminal narrow panicles. Phyllaries numerous, outer c.4.5 mm, inner c.11 mm, purplish. Florets purplish. Achenes (of bisexual florets) c. 0.7 mm, pubescent.