A. podagraria is perennial, growing to a height of 100 cm with rhizomes. The stems are erect, hollow and grooved. The upper leaves are ternate, broad and toothed. The flowers are in umbels, terminal with rays 15 - 20, with small white flowers, the fruits are small and have long curved styles. A. podagraria readily spreads over large areas of ground by underground rhizomes. Once established, the plants are highly competitive, and can reduce the diversity of ground cover, and prevent the establishment of tree and shrub seedlings. The primary vector for dispersal to new areas are human plantings as an ornamental, medicinal or vegetable plant, as well as by accidentally spreading rhizomes by dumping of garden waste. It spreads rapidly under favorable growing conditions. Because of this it has been described as a nuisance species, and been labeled one of the "worst" garden weeds in perennial flower gardens. Highly invasive in North America.