This is not unlike California Acaena (Acaena occidentalis) in its general appearance, with ascending to erect stems topped with a small, dense inflorescence. The inflorescence is more head- than spike-like and the flowers more variable. They may be either bisexual (with many thread-like stamens tipped with creamy-yellow anthers and a small, bushy red stigma at the base) or female only (with a larger, exserted, bushy red stigma). The leaves are pinnate, oval and much toothed. The leaves were once popular in salads and the plant was introduced into the USA by early English settlers.