The plant, which is smooth and non-hairy, lives for more than two years and can grow up to 25 centimetres tall.
It is native and found all over the British Isles, growing at altitudes up to 750 meters. It is also present throughout Europe.
The roots consist of many elongated, thickened underground parts that are cigar-shaped.
The leaves at the base of the plant are 1 to 4 centimetres in size, while the leaves along the stem are smaller.
Each flower is 2 to 4 centimetres in diameter, with three outer segments (sepals) and 7 to 12 petals.
This plant blooms from March to May.
It grows in forested areas along fences and hedges. It also grows in moist meadows, beside roads, and near rivers and streams.