Annuals, 10-50 cm. taproots slender, vertical; caudices small, ± herbaceous. Stems (1-30), sparingly branched at midstem or distally (lateral branches often short, minutely bracteate or naked), glabrous. Leaves usually all basal; blades oblanceolate to oblong, 20-110 × 5-30 mm, margins nearly entire to dentate or pinnatifid, faces usually glabrous or glabrate, sometimes hirsute on veins. Heads borne singly or 2-3 in loose, cymiform arrays (terminating branches, not showy) . Involucres narrowly campanulate, 8-16 × (3-)5-20 mm. Phyllaries 18-20, lanceolate, 3-18 mm, unequal, margins scarious, faces glabrous (apices brownish or reddish, sometimes ciliate). Florets 20-40; corollas white to yellowish, 5-8 mm,. equaling phyllaries at flowering. Cypselae dimorphic, outer cylindric, stout, truncate, inner fusiform, slender, beaked; bodies dark brown, 10-nerved, 8-10 mm, beaks 3-4 mm; pappi of tawny bristles in 2 series, outer barbellate, shorter than plumose inner, longest 9-10 mm. 2n = 8, 10, 12.
Hypochaeris glabra is usually distinguishable by its annual habit and relatively small size, slender and shallow roots, fine stems, often glabrous leaves, and beakless, truncate outer cypselae. Occasional specimens are larger and have induments characteristics of H. radicata; they can be distinguished by the dimorphic cypselae.
Taprooted annual or winter-annual, essentially glabrous; stem 1-4 dm, simple or sparingly branched, naked or only sparsely and minutely bracteate; basal lvs oblanceolate, toothed or pinnatifid, 2.5-15 נ0.7-3.5 cm; heads several or solitary, terminating the branches, not very showy, opening only in full sun, the ligules ca equaling the invol and only ca twice as long as wide; invol mostly 8-10 mm at anthesis, up to 17 mm in fr, its bracts imbricate; body of the achenes mostly 4-5 mm, multinerved, the nerves muricate upward; outermost achenes usually beakless, the others with a well developed slender beak; shorter outer pappus bristles commonly merely barbellate; 2n=8, 10, 12. Disturbed and waste places, especially in sandy soil; European weed, intr. in se. U.S., n. to s. Ill.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.