Annuals, 10–30(–100+) cm. Stems erect. Leaves mostly opposite; petioles 0–0.5 mm; blades ± lanceolate to lance-linear, 15–40+ × 3–6(–10+) mm, bases rounded to cordate, margins entire or with (1–)2(–4) basal lobes, abaxial and adaxial faces ± piloso-hispid and gland-dotted. Pistillate heads clustered, proximal to staminates; florets 1. Staminate heads: peduncles 0–0.5 mm; involucres obliquely cup-shaped (lateral lobe longer than others), 2.5–4 mm diam., piloso-hispid; florets 6–8+. Burs: bodies pyramidal, 5–8 mm, piloso-hispid, spines 4(–5), ± distal, ± acerose, 0.5–1 mm, tips straight.
Phenology: Flowering Jul–Oct.
Habitat: Dry, disturbed sites
Elevation: 200–500 m
Ala., Ark., Conn., D.C., Ga., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., La., Md., Minn., Miss., Mo., N.C., Ohio, Okla., Tenn., Tex., Va., W.Va.
Hybrids between Ambrosia bidentata and A. trifida have been recorded.