Subglabrous annual, 20-30 cm. Young branches sparsely covered with many-celled hairs, older branches glabrescent. Stipules deeply dentate or with 6-8 pointed lobes, the uppermost lobe longer than the others. Leaflets usually blotched, normally 10-25 x 10-25 mm, cuneate or obcordate, apex emarginate or retuse, with a small terminal tooth, upper surface glabrous, lower covered with simple hairs. Peduncles 2-5-flowered, 3-5 times shorter than long and slender petiole. Flowers 4-5 mm. Calyx teeth equal to tube or longer. Corolla about 2 x calyx. Young fruit protruding sideways from calyx. Fruit discoid to spherical, 5-7 rom high, softly-spiny ; coils 3-5, thin, pergamentaceous, all except first and last 5-7 mm diam., each coil with few radial veins, anastomosing only in the distal third into a dense net of veins; spines grooved, from short to 4 mm, hooked, 10-14 spines from each side of coil. FI. 3-5. Woodlands, etc. s.I.-850 m.
Europe , S.W. Asia, N. & S. Africa. Adventive throughout the world.