A stiff, slender and very rough stalk is possessed by this species, and it grows from one to three and a half feet high, with a spreading top. The leaves are noticeably thick-textured, rough-surfaced above, and downy on the under side. They are somewhat egg-shaped, with a tapering tip and have wavy or slightly toothed margins. The lower leaves are heart-shaped, and have long, slender, margined stems. Those above taper abruptly into shorter, broadened stems, which are widely flared, with conspicuous wings as they clasp the stalk, and this is an easy route to its identity. The topmost leaves become much smaller stemless, toothless and more lance-shaped, and they often clasp the stalk with a heart-shaped base. The flowers average less than an inch broad, and have from eight to fifteen rays varying in colour from pale blue to violet. The pale yellow disc florets fade to brown. The numerous flower heads generally form a loose terminal cluster, but are often set one-sided on the spreading, swaying branches. They are common enough in dry copses, from New Brunswick and Ontario to Florida, Alabama and Arkansas, during August, September and October.