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Perennial herb from a simple or branched stem-base and a thick, often deep taproot; stems erect, solitary to several, simple, hollow, glabrous or sometimes hairy above, exuding milky juice when broken, 10-60 cm tall.
Basal leaves oblanceolate to lanceolate, 5-25 cm long, 1-4 cm wide, tapering basally to a more or less winged stalk, deeply pinnately cut or pinnately divided into backward-pointing, narrow, triangular-lanceolate lobes with segments tapered to a slender tip, the terminal lobe not much larger than the lateral ones, glabrous or nearly so; stem leaves lacking.
Heads with strap-shaped flowers, solitary; involucres 10-20 mm tall; involucral bracts in 2 series, the outer ones egg-shaped to lanceolate, appressed to ascending or sometimes reflexed, glabrous or long-hairy, the inner ones lance-oblong, long-pointed, usually horned at the tips; ray flowers yellow, the outer ones often purplish on the outside; disk flowers lacking.
Achenes 3-4 mm long, not including the slender beak which is 1 to 2, sometimes 3 times the length of the body, red or reddish-brown, sharply ribbed and conspicuously spiny above; pappus of numerous, 4-7 mm long, white to dull white hairlike bristles.
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia