Dwarf perennial, usually solitary or in small groups, with a stout to extremely stout, deep blackish rootstock which is frequently furnished with fibrose roodets above and often of annulate appearance.
Petals white to creamy or greenish, ± 1 mm.
Fruit oblong-elliptic, 3.5–4 mm., greenish, glabrous, the vittae purple, broad and conspicuous; stylopodia flat or slightly rounded, inconspicuous, the styles ± 1 mm., rigidly divergent.
Leaves glabrous or rarely hirtellous (especially the rhachis), numerous, all radical in a dense rosette, linear in outline, 2–16 × 0.6–3 cm., pinnate with the pinnae in ± 3–15 pairs, pinnatisect or pinnatipartite with very acute, sharply mucronate, linear segments; sheaths broad, strongly nerved, membranous, ± 5–50 mm., abrupdy or gradually narrowed to the ± 5–50 mm. petiole.
Flowers in apparently simple umbels (± 7–30 or more from each rootstock) on finally very strongly recurved peduncles 1.5–9 cm. long which are hirtellous at least above, or in compound umbels on a peduncle up to ± 4 cm. long with 7–30 or more rays; involucre of mostly ± 10–14(–35) narrowly linear, acute, pale-margined bracts ± 5–35 mm. long; involucel similar but bracteoles smaller, ± equalling the glabrous, 2–10 mm. pedicels; flowers ± 10–40 or more in each partial umbel.
Agnew, U.K.W.F.: 355 (1974), describes this species as geocarpic, pointing out that “this plant usually has its leaves and fruiting umbels so tightly appressed to the ground that they spring downwards when the plant is dug up”, which accords with my own experience of the species.