Herbaceous perennial, often bushy with several stems arising from the base. Flowers massively displayed in terminal umbels (umbrella-like clusters with stalks all arising from the tip of the stem). Flowers in many shades of orange to brick-red, occasionally yellow. Blooms May-September. Leaves hairy, narrow, lance-shaped, dark green, on very short stems; sap not milky. Fruit long seedpods to 4½ inches long with numerous, tightly packed seeds in spirals, released and windborne on their silky floss.