Seedlings emerge throughout the growing season, bearing 2mm long and 1mm wide ovate cotyledons with a powdery appearance on the upper side. Later leaves are deeply lobed and covered with dense soft hairs. The mature plant has several silvery gray stems emerging from a woody root as large as 1.25 cm in diameter. Stems are hairy when young and become hairless with age, and can grow up to 2 m tall. This plant has a strong sage like odor.
Grayish green on both sides, leaves are 3-10 cm long. Long stalked lower leaves are divided 2 to 3 times into segments 1.5 to 4 mm wide. The upper most leaves are stalkless, simple, lance-shaped and 1-2 cm long.
Sage odor, nodding flower heads, grayish green leaves divided 2-3 times into narrow segments.
Flower Seed Head:
Small grayish green with yellow brown centers, the nodding flower heads emerge from the axils of the upper leaves. Flower heads are usually 2-3 mm high and 3-5 mm wide, each plant may produce as many as 1,500 heads with 36 florets per head.
A single seeded achene. The seeds 0.8 to 1.1 mm long and less than 0.4 mm wide are smooth, light-brown, and club-shaped. Each plant is capable of producing 50,000 seeds that may remain viable in the soil for several years.
Throughout Canada and northern two-thirds of the United States in pastures, populations increase as livestock graze more palatable species.