A biennial or short-lived perennial, this Colorado List A species is required to be eradicated wherever it is found. It grows as a low lying rosette in the first year with blue-green leaves covered in fine white wooly hairs. Leaves have a very pungent smell when crushed. In the second season the plant begins to grow upright and produces a flower stalk 2 to 3 feet wide in a distinctive candelabra shape.
Thousands of seeds are easily spread when the stem breaks off and forms a tumbleweed. This weed normally inhabits rangeland, forests and meadows. It is spreading rapidly in many parts of the west, but has only been found in Garfield County on the south-facing slope surrounding the No Name Tunnel on Interstate 70 and along the Colorado River bike path.