This is an annual plant about 2-7' tall that branches occasionally. The stems are terete (circular in cross-section), and pubescent. The alternate leaves are up to 8" long and across (excluding the petioles). They are cordate or orbicular-cordate, slightly dentate along their margins, and more or less pubescent. The primary veins of the leaves are arranged palmately. The petioles are up to 4" long and pubescent as well. The foliage of the entire plant is mostly light green, although the upper surfaces of the leaves are dull green. From the axils of the upper leaves, there occasionally develops a single flower about ¾" across. It consists of 5 petals that are orange-yellow or yellow, 5 sepals that are pubescent and light green, and numerous stamens with golden yellow anthers that surround the pistil in a loose cluster. The flowering stalk of each flower is about 1" long, which is much shorter than the petioles of the leaves. The blooming period usually occurs from late summer to early fall, and lasts about 1-2 months. The flowers are sparingly produced and short-lived. Each flower is replaced by a fruit about ¾" across. It is initially light green, but rather quickly turns brown or black with maturity. This fruit consists of a ring of about 10-15 flattened seedpods. Each seedpod has a stout beak and contains about 5-15 seeds. Each seed is greyish brown, somewhat flattened, and either reniform (kidney-shaped) or cordate (heart-shaped). The root system consists of a stout white taproot. This plant spreads by reseeding itself.
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