It is native to much of eastern North America,<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> where it is found in a variety of open habitats, including dry woodlands, rock outcrops and moist savannas.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>
It is an erect herbaceous perennial growing to Template:Convert tall, with alternative, simple, entire or slightly toothed leaves. The saucer- or cup-shaped yellow flowers, Template:Convert in diameter, appear in late spring and summer.<ref name=RHSAZ>Template:Cite book</ref> The fruit is a capsule that is strongly 4-angled or winged and shaped like a club.
Many varieties have been named, but the infraspecific taxonomy of this species is still in an unresolved state.
Conservation status in the United States
The Cherokee parboil the leaves, rinse them and cook in hot grease as a potherb.<ref>Perry, Myra Jean, 1975, Food Use of 'Wild' Plants by Cherokee Indians, The University of Tennessee, M.S. Thesis, page 49</ref>