Herbaceous perennial with ephemeral primary root, long slender branched rhizome and numerous adventitious roots. Stems weak, 20-50 cm, ascending or prostrate at base, simple or branched, branches suberect to ascending, quadrangular, with rather broad cartilaginous angles, usually hirsute with spreading hairs 1-2 mm or ± sparingly retrorsely scabrid, mainly along angles; internodes usually more than 14, upper finally elongate to 7.5 cm, Vegetative shoots usually short, leaves similar to those of flowering stems. Leaves rather thin, 10-25 x 4-11 mm, lower approximate, smaller broadly elliptic to elliptic, obtuse, upper broadly ovate to elliptic, often acutish, all 3veined, hirsute or only antrorsely scabrid-ciliate along margins and midrib beneath. Bracts subtending cymes yellowish, later green, ovate to elliptic, scarcely accrescent after flowering, all finally reflexed, Cymes 5-9-flowered. Peduncles and pedicels usually densely hirsute, sometimes rather sparingly antrorsely hairy to glabrous, finally elongate to 2-3mm and recurved. Bracteoles elliptic, hirsute or ciliate only, accrescent in fruit to 5-8 x 2-3 mm, Corolla yellow, c. 2-3 mm diam., lobes elliptic to ovate-elliptic, acute to subacuminate. Mericarps 1-2, globose to ovoid, c. 2-2.5 mm diam., glabrous. 2n = 22. Fl. 4-7. Grasslands and open woods, 20-1450 m.
Most of Europe , Caucasus, Iran, W. Himalaya. Introduced to N. America. Euro-Sib. element.