Description: Annual to perennial taprooted herbs; with short 3–5-fid hooked rigid non-glandular hairs and/or spines (some with hooks), bases expanded; stems terete, usually solitary, branched above.
Leaves basal and cauline, alternate, flat, margins ± toothed to pinnatisect.
Heads in loose terminal corymbs, few to numerous, cylindrical; involucral bracts herbaceous, in 2 rows, outer row ovate and leaf-like, inner row longer and lanceolate with spiny tip; receptacle flat, naked, pitted. Florets all ligulate, numerous, bisexual, fertile; ligule linear. Anthers sagittate at base, apical appendage minute.
Achenes terete, usually ribbed, transversely wrinkled, with a sharply defined filiform beak; pappus of plumose bristles, in 1 row, with a few shorter outer barbellate bristles.
Distribution and occurrence: World c. 5 species, Europe, Asia, Africa. Australia: 1 species (naturalized).
Text by E. A. Brown