Cryptotaenia canadensis is a perennial herb to 1 m tall; roots associated with VA mycorrhizas (Brundrett and Kendrick 1988); stem hairless, shiny, unbranched below inflorescence.
Leaves alternate, 3-parted, coarsely, irregularly toothed, often lobed as well, petiole expanded, leaflets 4-15 cm long, lower leaves long-stalked, the upper on short, dilated stalks.
Flowers white, radially symmetrical, very small; inflorescence of small irregular compound umbels with 2-7 very unequal, ascending rays, 1-5 cm; blooms June-July.
Fruit dry, one-seeded to 0.8 cm, oblong, striped black and dark gray, laterally flattened.
Wetland status: FAC.
Frequency in NYC: Occasional.
Habitat: Moist to wet, rich woods. Appears quite shade tolerant (Gargiullo personal observation).