Coarse perennial herb with an extensively spreading, matted root system, forming clumps, 30-150 cm tall. Leaves broadly ovate , 4-11 x 3-10 cm, sharply and coarsely dentate, acuminate. Dioecious , rarely monoecious. Male and female inflorescences similar in form, to c. 8 cm, much-branched. Female flowers with prominent purplish penicillate stigma, inner pair of perianth segments finally accrescent to c. 1.5 mm, ovate, pilose over entire surface. Fl. 6-9. Forests, shaded ravines and rocks, margins of streams, 500-2700 m.
Europe, N. Africa, W. Asia, Siberia. Euro-Sib. element.