Stems: scape simple, three-flowered at the summit. Leaves: basal ones tufted, petioled, interruptedly pinnate, with many small leaflets interspersed among the numerous obovate larger ones; leaves of the scape two opposite, small, sessile pairs. Flowers: of five pale purplish-pink petals surrounded by a persistent red calyx, five-bracteolate and five lobed; bractlets linear, slightly longer than the lanceolate, acute, erect lobes. Fruit: head sessile; style filiform and strongly plumose.
A very curious plant. Its general appearance is that of bearing three large dull red buds on a three-branched red stem, with a number of little red bracts clustered at the fork; for the pale pink or yellowish petals are so snugly hidden away within the calyx that you do not observe them at a casual glance. The closed calyx forms these fat buds, which have five slender reflexed bracts set between their lobes, and from their pointed tips protrude a number of yellow stamens.
When the petals and sepals fall off the long plumose tails that adorn the ripened heads of the Avens are exceedingly attractive. Many long finely cut leaves grow at the base of this plant.