This native plant is a biennial or short-lived perennial up to 2' tall that branches occasionally. The green stems are glabrous. The blades of the basal leaves are up to 2" long and 2½" across; they are orbicular-reniform and crenate along the margins. Their petioles are up to 3" long. The lower cauline leaves are up to 2" long and across on petioles up to 1" long; they are often deeply divided into 3 rounded lobes and their margins are crenate. The upper cauline leaves are usually lanceolate, oblanceolate, or oblong with smooth margins; sometimes they are shallowly lobed with teeth that are crenate or dentate. The blades of the upper cauline leaves are up to 1½" long and they are sessile. All of these leaves are hairless; the cauline leaves alternate along the stems. Each upper stem terminates in 1-3 flowers on individual stalks. Each flower is about ¼" across, consisting of 5 yellow petals, 5 green sepals, a cluster of green carpels, and a ring of stamens with bright yellow anthers. The petals are broadly lanceolate or triangular; they are smaller than the sepals. The sepals become membranous with age and they fall off the flower at about the same time as the petals. The blooming period occurs from mid-spring to early summer and lasts about 1-2 months. The cluster of carpels (immature achenes) elongates to about ¼" in length and becomes ovoid in shape. The small achenes are somewhat flattened and orbicular in shape; their surfaces are shiny when mature and they have very small beaks. The root system consists of a tuft of fibrous roots. This plant spreads by reseeding itself.