Biannual plant with a fleshy, elongated, fleshy root, usually orange-red in colour. The leaves are finely divided and long stalked, arranged in a rosette and have a pleasant aroma. In the second year, an erect, branched, up to 1.5 m high stem appears. Inflorescence in a compound umbel with small white flowers. The fruit is a double welded achene.
It grows spontaneously on banks and hillsides throughout Europe and North Africa.