Leaves 3-parted, deeply toothed, hairy below, teeth sharp. Early spring leaves, which replace overwintering leaves, are adapted to high light conditions before canopy closure. Up to 45% of growth occurs when canopy is leafless in spring and autumn; summer leaves, produced after canopy closure, are adapted to shade. Leaves produced after frost in late autumn overwinter, are adapted to freezing. Shade adapted leaves of forest plants have longer life spans than those in open areas. Leaves live 14-20 weeks (Chabot and Hicks 1982).
Flowers white, petals-5, 0.7-1 cm long, below leaves, blooms May.
Fruit fleshy, red, oval-elliptic, enlarged floral base (receptacle), with numerous, superficial, 1-seeded achenes; eaten and dispersed by birds and mammals, fruit edible (Martin et al. 1951).
Wetland status: UPL.
Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent.
Origin: Native (USDA, NRCS 2006).
Notes: Shade tolerant, requires 0.6-2.5% sunlight in order to survive and grow (compensation point), cannot use more than 30% full sunlight (saturation point) (Hicks and Chabot 1985).This subspecies is listed as native by USDA.Plants (2006). Theirs is a more recent listing than Gleason and Cronquist (1991) which list it as European.