Juicy perennial, 0.15–0.9 m. tall, with a stout rootstock; stems stout but easily broken, fistular, sulcate-striate, densely finely pilose, 0.6–1.5 cm. wide below, simple or with a single ascending branch with one very reduced leaf.
Umbels several, on sulcate peduncles 6–18 cm. long; rays ± 9–15, sulcate, densely pilose, 1–4 cm.; involucre of 1–9 narrow or broad and blunt bracts up to 1 cm. long; partial umbels ± 10–20-flowered, pedicels 3–10 mm., densely furnished with rather shining hairs of different lengths; involucel of ± 7–10 linear bracteoles 3–8 mm. in length, at least some exceeding the pedicels in young fruit.
Basal leaves several in a rosette, narrowly oblong in outline, ± 15–40 × 2.5–15 cm., simply pinnate with usually 4–8 pairs of roundish to broadly, bluntly or acutely deltoid, 1–8.5 × 1.25–6 cm., dentate-incised or pinnatifid leaflets (the upper frequently overlapping), the ultimate teeth obtuse to acute, mucronate; indumentum ± dense along the primary and secondary nerves and margins, or sometimes more generally pilose on the upper surface; sheaths broad, striate, 5–14 × 2–3 cm., tapering or rounded above; petiole ± 5–10 cm.; median stem leaves shortly petiolate or sessile on the sheaths, similar but gradually reducing in size and number of pinnae; sheaths very broad, clasping the stem, ± 5–10 × 2–3 cm.; uppermost leaves commonly shorter and more condensed, leaflets similar but more sharply toothed, or if narrow then entire or remotely dentate, the sheaths of these also broad and inflated.
Flowers white, the outermost petals of the outer partial umbels radiate, deeply cordate, (3–)4–6.5(–8 in Ethiopia) mm.; inner petals elliptic-oblong, ± 1.25–1.5 mm., with an incurved tip.
Calyx-teeth broadly triangular, ± 0.5 mm., early-deciduous.
Fruit broadly elliptic, ± 6–12 × 4.5–6 mm., sparsely pilose over the entire surface or on the margins only; stylopodia shortly conical, not exceeding the apical notch of the fruit; styles deflexed, ± 1–1.5 mm.; vittae 4 dorsally, 2 on the commissure, all reaching ± 3/4 of the way to the base or the commissural short and less than 1/3 from the apex.