Leaves form a basal rosette of 6 to 12 inches with wavy margins. Leaves are initially shiny but gradually become more reddish purple with time. Lower leaves are longer and more rounded than stem leaves. Leaves on the stem are alternate, surrounded by an ocrea, and not as numerous as the basal leaves.
Stem elongates into a flowering stalk up to 40 inches tall; smooth, ridged, reddish, and branched toward the top with enlarged nodes.
Flower or seedhead is a terminal panicle with green sepals that become reddish brown at maturity found in clusters on the upper portion of the elongating stem. Seeds are brown.
Roots are fibrous from a large, fleshy taproot.
Propagation is by seed.