Annual, biennial or perennial taprooted herbs, with stiff hairs that are spinose or have 2–4-fid hooked apices; stem usually solitary, branched above, terete, striate. Leaves basal and cauline, alternate, flat, margins sinuate to pinnatisect. Capitula pedunculate, in loose terminal corymbs, often forming a panicle; involucre cylindric, bracts ovate to linear, herbaceous, imbricate, many-seriate, more or less equal (not in Victoria) or the inner ones longer; receptacle flat, naked, pitted. Florets ligulate, bisexual, yellow; ligule linear, 5-toothed; anthers sagittate at base, with minute triangular appendages at apex; style bilobed, with long, narrow-linear, minutely hairy branches. Cypselas ellipsoid-fusiform or terete, 5-ribbed, often transversely wrinkled, glabrous, tapered apically or somewhat beaked; pappus 2-seriate, the outer series of a few short barbellate bristles, the inner of free plumose bristles, rarely reduced to scales or a corona in outer cypselas.
About 40 species, mainly from the Mediterranean region, but with several species in tropical Africa and Australia; 12 species in Australia, 2 naturalized. reference: Holzapfel (1994).