A biennial or perennial herb that may exceed 0,5 m in height. Basal leaves are stalked, while those higher up are sessile. Leaves are variable in size, elliptic and covered in coarse, sparsely distributed hairs. The branched inflorescence bears many small, reddish-purple flowers. The plant occurs in open grassland and marshes. The red or orange fruit are eaten by birds and monkeys.