Perennial herb from a woody stem-base; stems 1 to many, erect, 10-60 cm tall, sparsely to abundantly hairy
Basal, 3 to 6, ascending, 3-10 cm wide, palmately 1- or 2-times 3-parted, margins incised on upper 1/3, the ultimate segments 2-3.5 mm wide, smooth to long-hairy on upper surfaces, long-hairy on lower; stalks 4-10 cm long.
Inflorescence a 2- to 7-flowered, terminal cyme, or a solitary flower; flower stalks long soft-hairy; involucral bracts usually 3 to 5, occasionally 2 in secondary bracts, leaf-like, short-stalked, similar to basal leaves but reduced, ultimate segments 1.5-3 mm wide, sometimes incompletely 3- parted; petals absent; sepals usually 5 to 9, petal-like, from cream-coloured to yellowish and tinged with blue, purple, or red, especially on outer surface, sometimes wholly pink, egg-shaped to oblong, 5-17 mm long, 5-7 mm wide, hairy on outside, smooth inside; stamens 50-80, whitish; styles white.
Achenes, numerous in a spheric head on stalks 6-15 cm long, the achenes irregularly elliptic, flat, 3-4 mm long, 1.5-2 mm wide, not winged, woolly or long-hairy; beaks more or less straight, curved or hooked at tip, 1-6 mm long, smooth.
Two varieties occur in our region:
1. Plants (10) 20-40 cm tall; inflorescence (1-) 2- to 3-flowered................... var. saxicola Boivin
1. Plants (30) 40-60 cm tall; inflorescence (2-) 5- to 7-flowered..................... var. multifida
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia