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Robust perennial herb from stout short-creeping rhizome; stems several, erect to ascending, 1-2 m tall, smooth.
Alternate, 10-60 cm long, long-stalked, the lower leaves usually three times compound, the leaflets egg-shaped to narrowly oblong, sharply double-toothed and pointed, 3-15 cm long, the upper leaves smaller and less compounded; green and usually smooth above, hairy and paler below.
Inflorescence a large, elongated, terminal panicle with numerous spike-like branches of tiny, short-stalked flowers; male and female flowers on separate plants; corollas white, the petals 5, oblong to egg-shaped, about 1 mm long; calyces 5-toothed, the teeth shorter than the petals; ovaries superior; pistils 3 (4 or 5) in female flowers; stamens 15 to 30 in male flowers.
Follicles, bent back, more or less cylindric, somewhat leathery, straw-coloured, smooth, about 3 mm long; seeds 2 to 4 per follicle, about 2 mm long.
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia