This herbaceous biennial plant is a low-growing rosette during the 1st year. During the 2nd year, it sends up one or more flowering stems 1-3' tall. These stems branch sparingly above the withered remains of the rosette. Each stem is round, hairless, and often somewhat enlarged at the base of each leaf. The cauline leaves alternate sparingly and become smaller as they ascend the stems. They are up to 12" long and 1" across, lanceolate-linear in shape, smooth along the margins, and hairless. Their veins run parallel to each other, and at the base each leaf strongly clasps the stem. The basal leaves are similar to the cauline leaves in structure and appearance. Both the stems and leaves contain a white latex. Each stem terminates in a long naked stalk bearing a single flowerhead.