Stems smooth, stout and sometimes purplish, with milky juice, leafy and 3 to 9 feet high, from a perennial root. Leaves thin, the lower ones very long petioled, the upper short petioled or sessile, all usually divided into three segments, which are sometimes stalked, irregularly toothed, or the upper leaves sometimes entire. Inflorescence consisting of many drooping heads, in loose clusters of few or several together. Heads with seven to twelve whitish or pale yellowish ray flowers (no disk flowers), surrounded by a pale green, narrow, smooth, cylindric involucre about one-half of an inch long, becoming purplish when old, consisting of six to eight principal bracts, equaling the pappus in length, and a few small bracts at the base of the involucre. Pappus light brown in color.
Memoir 15 N. Y. State Museum
Gall-of-the-earth; tall rattlesnake-root Nabalus trifoliolatiis
In woods and thickets, Newfoundland to Pennsylvania, Indiana, Delaware and Tennessee. Flowering from August to October. Not a showy plant but rather odd in appearance and representative of a group which in this State contains about half a dozen related species.