General: perennial from a stout root crown, stems several, clustered, hairless throughout (except var. ctenophora), 15-60 cm tall, from fibrous roots.
Leaves: the basal ones 5-18 cm long, the blade about equaling or longer than the stalk, 1-3.5 cm wide, pinnately divided into many segments that are narrow, not crowded, with small, sharp teeth. Stem leaves alternate, gradually smaller and shorter-stalked to stalkless higher up.
Flowers: several in a tall, narrow cluster, seldom very dense. The bracts narrow, deeply 3-lobed or pinnately to palmately cleft. Calyx tube pale and slightly membranous between the 5 darker veins. Calyx lobes 5, narrow, entire, the upper one the shortest. Corolla ochroleucous or white, often finely marked with purple (wholly pink or purple in var. ctenophora), about 1 cm long, the upper lip short, strongly arched, gradually narrowed into an elongate, downcurved beak which is only slightly, if at all, protruding from the well-developed, very broad lower lip.