Perennial 1-2 m, the stems canescent above; lvs lanceolate to ovate, occasionally shallowly lobed beyond the middle, glabrous or soon glabrate above, stellate-canescent beneath; peduncles jointed near or above the middle, often bearing a ±well developed lf; involucral bracts usually not ciliate, cor 10-20 cm wide, pink or white, often with a red or purple center; fr rounded or tapering to the often short-beaked summit, glabrous except the sutures; seeds glabrous; 2n=38. Marshes along the coast and inland; Mass. and N.Y. to O., s. Wis., and Mo., s. to the Gulf, and disjunct in Calif.; sometimes escaped elsewhere. Most of our plants are var. moscheutos, as described above. (H. palustris) The mostly more southern or western var. occidentalis Torr., with the frs and both sides of the lvs pubescent, and the bracts usually ciliate, enters our range in s. Ill., w. Ky., and adj. Ind. (H. lasiocarpus)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.