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Annual or biennial herb from a taproot, smooth; stems erect to ascending, 20-80 cm tall, freely branched.
Basal leaves withered at flowering time; stem leaves several to many, 3-10 cm long, pinnately compound, with stipules fused to base of long leaf-stalks and forming membranous margins; leaflets 9 to 17, oblong-elliptic, 0.5-2 cm long, pinnately cleft into linear segments; stipules of lower leaves fused to leaf-stalk below, free at the tip, entire, those of the upper leaves free, leaflet-like, pinnately cleft.
Inflorescence a dense, cylindric to globe-shaped, long-stalked spike, the spike 0.5-3 cm long, of numerous small flowers; corollas absent; calyces green, 4-lobed, the lobes egg-shaped, 2-3 mm long; ovaries superior; stamens usually 2, the filaments thread-like, about as long as the calyx-lobes.
Achenes, enclosed in the 4-angled, thick-edged but barely winged, weakly net-veined, smooth hypanthium.
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia