Greek arktos — a bear, an apparent allusion to the shaggy involucral bracts
Biennial herbs or subshrubs with stout taproots, foul-smelling. Stems erect or ascending. Leaves basal and/or along stems, alternate, broad, toothed or entire. Capitula diskoid, terminal, solitary or in corymbs or racemes, with long or short stalks, shed as a unit with achenes enclosed. Involucral bracts in many rows, overlapping, unequal, prolonged and hooked at apex. Receptacle with scales, flat. Florets bisexual, tubular, purple or white. Achenes oblong, somewhat compressed, ribbed, glabrous. Pappus of few to many yellowish deciduous bristles.
Two species have become weeds in Australia, usually in moist disturbed areas.
Hooked tips on the involucral bracts; broad entire or toothed leaves; capitula shed as a unit.
9 species from Europe and temperate Asia.
Source: (2002). Asteraceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 4. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 3. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.