Description from Flora of China
Herbs 30–120 cm tall. Rhizome short, usually tuberous, with many lateral roots and 1 to several underground buds. Stems sparsely pilose and pubescent, or densely rigidly hairy (rarely sparsely hirsute) in lower part. Stipules green, falcate, rarely ovate or ovate-lanceolate, herbaceous, margin sharply serrate or lobed, rarely entire, apex acute or acuminate; petiole sparsely pilose or pubescent; leaf blade interrupted imparipinnate with (2 or)3 or 4 pairs of leaflets, reduced to 3 leaflets on upper leaves; leaflets sessile or shortly petiolulate, obovate, obovate-elliptic, or obovate-lanceolate, 1.5–5 × 1–2.5 cm, abaxially appressed pilose on veins, or densely pubescent or tomentose-pubescent between veins, rarely glabrescent, markedly or sparsely glandular punctate, adaxially pilose, or hirsute or hirtellous on veins, rarely glabrescent, base cuneate to broadly so, margin acutely to obtusely serrate, apex rounded to acute, rarely acuminate. Inflorescence terminal, spicate-racemose, branched or not; rachis pilose. Flowers 6–9 mm in diam.; pedicel 1–5 mm, pilose; bract usually 3-parted with segments linear; bracteoles in 1 pair, ovate, margin entire or lobed. Sepals 5, triangular-ovate. Petals yellow, oblong. Stamens (5–)8–15. Style filiform; stigma capitate. Fruiting hypanthium obovoid-conic, 7–8 × 3–4 mm including prickles, abaxially 10-ribbed, pilose, with a multiseriate crown of prickles; prickles erect when young, connivent at maturity. Fl. and fr. May–Dec.
Thinned forests, forest margins, thickets, meadows, stream banks, roadsides; 100--3800 m. Throughout China [Bhutan, N India, Japan, N Laos, Korea, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Sikkim, N Thailand, N Vietnam; E Europe].