It is a herbaceousperennial plant growing to 45 cm tall, with simple or branched stems. The basal leaves are three-lobed, with leaves higher on the stems more deeply divided; like the stems, they are downy or hairy. The flowers are 3–5 cm diameter, variably red to pink, yellow, or white, with one to several flowers on each stem.
It is a popular ornamental plant in gardens, and widely used in floristry. Numerous cultivars have been selected, including 'Bloomingdale', 'Picotee', 'Pot Dwarf', and 'Superbissima'. The plants can tolerate light frost, but are not hardy at temperatures below -10°C.
Some strains such as 'Tecolote' and 'Bloomingdale' produce double flowers (not shown here).