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Perennial herb from a stout rhizome with fibrous roots; stems coarse, stiff, erect, 0.5-1 m tall, sometimes forked above, with both coarse and short, mostly spreading hairs.
Alternate, interruptedly odd-pinnately compound, the 5 to 11 main leaflets interspersed with much smaller ones; leaflets lanceolate to narrowly egg-shaped, 1-6 cm long, coarsely saw-toothed, long-tapering to sharp tip, dark green and somewhat spreading-hairy above, paler, veiny, soft-hairy and glandular-dotted beneath; stipules leaf-like, lance-egg-shaped, to 2 cm long.
Inflorescence a long, slender, terminal, spike-like raceme of several small, short-stalked flowers, the racemes 5-20 cm long, the axis without glands but with short, mostly ascending hairs; corollas yellow, saucer-shaped, the petals 5, about 3 mm long; calyces 5-lobed, the lobes lanceolate, spreading then converging after flowering and forming a beak on the fruit, the hypanthium conic, grooved, hooked-prickly; ovaries superior; stamens 5 to 15.
Achenes, 2, seed-like, enclosed within the enlarged hardened hypanthium, the hypanthium 10-grooved, minutely hairy in the grooves, glandular-dotted, with a crown of hooked bristles; entire bur-like fruit including the beak 4-5 mm long.
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia