Erechtites hieracifolia is an annual, erect, 0.1-3 m tall, stem juicy, often hairy, pale green, roots fibrous.
Leaves alternate, 6–20 cm long, 2–8 cm wide lance-shaped, smaller upwards and clasping stem (Flora of N. America 1993+), margin sharply toothed.
Flower heads greenish-white, cylindrical, no rays, tops barely showing above long basal bracts; heads cylindrical, 1-1.5 cm long, narrow, broadest at base, 0.5-1.2 cm wide, bracts 21, linear, in a single row, green; blooms and fruits Aug-Sept.
Fruit dry, one-seeded, 0.2-0.3 cm long, with bright white bristles; bracts opening outward to allow seed dispersal, fruiting heads more conspicuous than flowers, seeds wind dispersed.
Wetland status: FACU.
Frequency in NYC: Occasional.
Habitat: Open disturbed areas, fill, burned areas, roadsides. Often in part shade of edges.