Leaves sessile, sometimes rather crowded, elliptic or linear to lanceolate or oblanceolate, 3–25 cm long, 0.2–5 cm wide, base cuneate to attenuate, margins minutely to distinctly serrulate or denticulate with apiculate teeth, apex attenuate or acuminate-attenuate, scabridulous but glabrescent and sometimes somewhat bullate above, finely pubescent at least or especially on veins and sometimes glabrescent beneath.
Annual herb, sometimes a short-lived perennial, 13–500 cm tall, erect or sometimes straggling, sometimes much-branched; stems ribbed, densely pubescent with appressed and usually with longer spreading crispate incipiently asymmetrically T-shaped hairs.
Achenes blackish, narrowly obovoid, 3.5–8.2 mm long, 10-ribbed, densely ascending-pubescent; outer pappus of very narrow scales, 0.5–2 mm long, inner pappus tawny, dark browny sordid or grey, 5.5–11 mm long.
Corolla pink, mauve, purple, violet, blue or pale greenish blue, 7.5–16.5 mm long, lobes 2–6.7 mm long, shortly hairy at the apex, glandular.
Capitula solitary or few to numerous in lax to rather dense terminal compound corymbiform (sometimes ± scorpioid) cymes; stalks of individual capitula pubescent or densely so, sometimes slightly expanded below the capitula; involucre ovoid to subglobose, 8–25 mm long, 9–15 mm in diameter at flowering time; phyllaries 4–6-seriate, pale green often with darker green upper part (sometimes purplish on the inner ones), linear to lanceolate, the inner sometimes elliptic or oblanceolate, erect or ± spreading to strongly deflexed in upper part, 8.5–21 mm long, acute, attenuate or rarely acuminate, often ± pungent, the inner sometimes obtuse to truncate and then laciniate, thinly to strongly arachnoid-pubescent, sometimes ascending-hispid in upper part especially on margins, the inner glabrous but for the apices; appendage-like upper part of outer and median phyllaries narrowly to broadly lanceolate, 3–10.5 mm long, 0.3–2.7 mm broad, attenuate to acuminate, often spreading, or spreading then ascending or recurving.