The tall, leafy, and often branched spires of this familiar, old-fashioned, domestic herb of past generations, is commonly found about old dwellings and along roadsides, where it grows from two to five feet in height. The square stem is rather stout, and, together with the foliage, is usually lightly dusted with whitish powder. The branches are straight and ascending. The thin and rather soft leaves are noticeably veined, and are set in close, opposite pairs, which swing out in every direction on slender stems. The leaves are wedge-shaped toward the base, and become divided above the middle into three sharply toothed lobes with the central division much larger and longer than the rest. The lower leaves which are long stemmed are much broader and are deeply cut with rounded, irregularly toothed lobes. Numerous little wreaths of tiny pink, purple, or white flowers are set around the stalk at the angle of each pair of leaves and at close intervals. The tubular corolla is two-lipped. The erect upper lip, which encloses the stamens, is slightly arched and densely covered with white, woolly hairs above. The spreading and mottled lower lip is three-lobed, with the middle one much the largest.

The tube is lined with an oblique ring of hairs. Leonurus is Greek, meaning lion's tail, and presumably alludes to the brushy, tail-like branches. Motherwort may be found from June to September, from Nova Scotia to North Carolina, Minnesota and Nebraska. It has become naturalized from Europe.