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It has finely-cut, radical leaves, fern-like in appearance, and an erect stem 20–50 cm tall bearing a loose terminal inflorescence of small white flowers. The tiny flowers appear in dense clusters from late spring to mid summer. The crushed leaves and roots have a scent of oil of wintergreen (Methyl salicylate).
It is found in dry pastures across much of Europe and central and northern Asia. This plant prefers full sun to partial shade. It is more tolerant of dry conditions than most other members of its genus.
Edible parts are leaves and root. Young leaves can be consumed as raw or cooked. They can be added to salads and soups. Root can also be consumed as raw or cooked but is rather bitter, best if roasted. It has astringent effect. It was considered as famine food, only used in times of scarcity.