A bristly, annual or biennial (lasting 2 years) herb with a rosette or deeply divided leaves with toothed margins with a much larger rounded terminal lobe that grows to 90cm high. The stems are wiry with pale yellow terminal flowers.
As A Soil Indicator:
Very low Calcium, Low Potassium, Very high phosphate, Very high Magnesium, Very low Manganese, High Iron, High Sulphur, High Copper, High Zinc, High Boron, High Chlorine, High Selenium, High Salt,  Very little organic matter, Anaerobic bacteria, Prefers damp soils. 
Life cycle: 
Annual or biennial. Seeds germinate mainly in autumn with some in spring. It forms a rosette of leaves over winter and sends up a branched flowering stem in spring. It usually dies off in summer but some plants in moist conditions may survive into their second season.
Nectary plant. Leaves and shoots edible. Used in herbal medicine for colds and chest complaints
May taint milk. Relatively unpalatable
Not recorded as toxic

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