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Biennial or short-lived perennial herb from a taproot and often a stout, branched stem-base; stems erect, several, branched, glabrous, 10 to 100 cm tall.
Basal leaves soon deciduous; stem leaves alternate, closely and evenly toothed or entire, hairless, middle and upper mostly clasping, often sticky with resin.
Heads with ray and disk flowers, solitary or in a flat-topped cluster; ray flowers yellow, 25-40, 7-15 mm long; involucres 1-9 mm tall; involucral bracts strongly resinous, regularly graduated, the green tips reflexed.
Achenes nerved, usually squared off at the tip, glabrous, 2-3 mm long; pappus of several slender awns.
Three weakly defined varieties occur in BC and may be separated as follows:
1. Leaves entire or remotely toothed, the lower ones often irregularly toothed or somewhat pinnately cut.................... var. quasiperennis Lunell
1. Leaves closely and evenly toothed. 2. Upper and middle leaves 2-4 times as long as wide, mostly egg-shaped or oblong..................... var. squarrosa
2. Upper and middle leaves 5-8 times as long as wide, mostly linear-oblong to lanceolate.................. var. serrulata (Rydb.) Steyerm.
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia