Plants are annual or biennial, growing from taproots. The stems are upright growing to a height of 30 to 120 cm. The flowers are sessile and produced in verticillasters. The calyx is tubular-campanulate shaped and 6-8 mm long with broad triangle shaped teeth. The corolla is white or reddish to purplish red in color. Plants bloom from June to September.
It has escaped cultivation and become naturalized in other parts of the world including South and North America, Europe and Africa.
^Lin JH, Lin QD, Liu XH, Yan JY, He J, Li L, Gu H, Sun LZ, Zhang JP, Yu S, Ma YY, Niu JM, Xia Y, Zhao SC, Li W, Wang HL, Wang BS (2009). "Multi-center study of motherwort injection to prevent postpartum hemorrhage after caesarian section". Zhonghua Fu Chan Ke Za Zhi 44 (3): 175–178. PMID19570440.