Native to the United States, and widespread in the western states.
Plants are toxic to livestock when eaten green or as a dry contaminant in hay.
A perennial broadleaf plant that can be found in almost any moist or dry situation. An extremely deep taproot allows it to survive in very dry situations. Growth is from seeds, or from creeping underground roots. The seeds have long, silky tufts of hair at their upper end, and when released by the wind may be carried long distances.
Seeds germinate in the spring, along with regrowth of foliage from the roots, and the plants mature throughout the summer, with foliage dying in cold weather.
Mature plants may be over 4 feet tall, with thick stems. Numerous stems may originate from the base, and the stems and leaves all are a pale green and covered with soft, woolly hairs.
Leaves grow as pairs, opposite along the stem, and are thick, oval, and pointed. They have short stalks. Leaves are very wide and long, growing to 7 inches long.
Flowers are borne in clusters on stalks that may be 3.5 inches long, and the clusters are drooping or turned downward. The flowers are whitish to purple tinted, and have pointed corollas that surround the petals.
Characteristicts Important to Control:
A perennial weed growing from seeds or roots.