Perennial herb 25-90 cm tall, with a spindle-shaped root. Stem erect, simple or dichotomously branched in the middle, at the bottom and a capitate inflorescences with curly white hairs. Leaves in a basal rosette, and 2-4 (5) pairs on the stem, covered with short hairs. Lower leaves are lyre-shaped, medium — once or three times pinnately or ne-ristorassechennye. Flowers pale yellow, clustered in dense apical inflorescence-head diameter of 2-3 cm Wrap-lanceolate or narrow linear green pointed leaves, usually densely pubescent, especially beneath. Bracts scarious, pale, linear-lanceolate, with one vein. Marginal flowers in the inflorescence twice the size of the central. Corolla zygomorphic, with a long tube and five-lobed limb. Stamens four. Fruit — achene. Blooms in June and July, the fruits ripen in July and August.
Eurasian species. In Russia, found in the European part of the North Caucasus, South Siberia. In Central Russia grows, probably, in all areas. In the black earth belt this ordinary plant. North occurs much less often, mainly as an introduction.
Grows in steppes, steppe meadows, thickets of steppe bushes, glades and edges. In Mordovia found (though rarely) in the chalk and limestone outcrops scabiosa Iset-perennial herb 20-50 cm tall, distinguished by yellow scabiosa bipinnate (not lyrate) basal leaves, yellowish-white, sometimes pinkish-white rim, bare (not bristly) achenes.