Description from Flora of China
Herbs, annual; root vertical. Stems erect or ascending, gray-green, 25-40 cm tall, rather curved, usually branching from base, glabrous or sparsely pilose. Leaves thick, lower leaves crowded, abaxially dark green, often becoming purple, lyrate-pinnatilobed, 5-10 × 2.5-6.5 cm; terminal lobe large, broadly ovate-triangular, margin irregularly dentate, apex obtuse or subrounded; lateral lobes usually paired, oblong or oblong-lanceolate, both surfaces crisped-hairy, margin shallowly and bluntly dentate, apex obtuse or acute. Median stem leaves lax, sessile, smaller, ovate-lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate, basally hastately semiamplexicaul, margin entire or irregularly denticulate, apically acute; upper leaves few, linear. Capitula pendulous before anthesis, erect later, usually 2-5, in terminal lax corymbs; peduncles 2.5-5 cm, slender, not bracteate. Involucres cylindric, 6-12 × 1.5-4 mm; phyllaries 8 or 9, yellow-green, oblong-linear or linear, nearly equaling florets, glabrous, margin narrowly scarious, apically acuminate. Florets pink or purplish; corolla ca. 9 mm, with slender tube and dilated limb, deeply 5-lobed. Achenes cylindric, 3-4 mm, puberulent between ribs, 5-ribbed. Pappus of capillary-like bristles, snow white, ca. 8 mm. Fl. Jul-Oct. 2n = 10, 20.
Emilia sonchifolia is used medicinally as an antiphlogistic and for dysentery.
Weedy slopes, roadsides, field margins, sandy places; sea level to 2100 m. Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Yunnan, Zhejiang [pantropical].