Asteraceae or Sunflower Family
GROWTH HABIT: Herbaceous, relatively long-lived perennial, 1 to 4 feet tall.
LEAVES: Sharp, deeply toothed, basal leaves of the rosette closely resemble a common dandelion rosette.
STEMS: Green stems have occasional narrow leaves that are inconspicuous, giving the plant a skeleton appearance. A distinguishing characteristic of rush skeletonweed is the downwardly bent, reddish, coarse hairs on the lower 4 to 6 inches of the stem. The remainder of the stem is relatively hair-free and smooth.
FLOWERS: Yellow flower heads, approximately 3/4-inch in diameter, are scattered on the stems and branch tips. Flower heads may appear singly or in clusters of two to five.
ROOTS: Taproots can reach depths of 8 feet. When the roots are severed, they produce shoots that can reach the soil surface from depths of 4 feet.
SEEDS: Each plant can potentially produce 20,000 seeds. Seeds are light brown to black, ribbed and have white bristles at one end that aid in wind dispersal.
REPRODUCES: By seed and vegetative shoots.
HABITAT: Disturbed areas such as roadways, waste areas, and areas weakened by drought or improper grazing.