It is native to Europe, the Middle East, and parts of western Asia and North Africa, and it is known on other continents as an introduced species and sometimes a noxious weed. This is a perennial herb growing to a maximum height near one meter. The leaves have blades up to 12 centimeters long borne on petioles up to 10 centimeters in length. The leaf blade is divided into leaflets which are subdivided into smaller segments which may be lobed or deeply cut. The inflorescence is a compound umbel of many flowers with bright white to red-tinged petals.
Frequently the plant grows on acidic soils. It is able to tolerate both dry and damp environments. It is also named water parsley<ref name="Emorsgate"/>