Plants 10-120 cm tall, glabrous. Rhizomes not tuberous. Leaves lanceolate to ovate or occasionally broadly ovate, 2.5-10 × 1-6 cm, base broadly cuneate to rounded or truncate, rarely subcordate, margin denticulate, apex shortly acuminate. Terminal raceme simple or more commonly branched at base, 2-20 cm, flowering pedicel perpendicular to axis of raceme, without, less commonly with, a minute, setaceous bracteole at base, bracteole usually deciduous before maturation of fruit. Buds glabrous; floral tube 0.5-0.8 mm. Sepals reflexed in flower, reddish purple, oblong to lanceolate, 0.6-2.5 × 0.8-1.2 mm, abruptly acuminate. Petals pink, narrowly to broadly obtrullate or obovate, 0.8-1.7 × 0.7-1 mm, apical notch 1/10-1/5 length of petal; petal lobes minutely crenulate or with minute secondary lobes. Stamens shorter than style; nectary exserted beyond opening of floral tube. Fruiting pedicel and mature fruit 6-12 mm. Fruit obovoid to broadly so, 1.7-3.2 × 1.2-2.1 mm, slightly flattened abaxially, tapering smoothly to pedicel, without prominent ribs or sulci, but with a narrow groove representing extension of pedicel. Ovary locules 2. Seeds 2. Fl. Jun-Sep, fr. Jul-Sep. 2n = 22.
Circaea delavayi H. Léveillé; C. kawakamii Hayata; C. lutetiana Linnaeus race erubescens (Franchet & Savatier) H. Léveillé.