This plant is a winter annual or biennial. Initially, it forms a low rosette of basal leaves spanning up to 8" across. Each basal leaf is up to 4" long, ¾" across, and simple-pinnate, consisting
of 5-9 leaflets and a long petiole. The basal leaflets are orbicular to oval in shape and slightly undulate along their margins; the outer leaflets are larger in size than the inner leaflets. The basal petioles often have a few long hairs along their margins and they are often dull purple. From the center of the rosette, there develops a flowering stalk up to 10" tall that is unbranched or sparingly branched; this stalk is light green to dull purple and hairless, except for a few long hairs toward its base. About 3-5 cauline leaves alternate along the stalk. The cauline leaves are similar to the basal leaves, except they are shorter in length and their leaflets are more narrow (linear-oblong to ovate-oblanceolate). Sometimes long hairs are present along the margins of the cauline leaflets and near the base of the cauline petioles. The central stalk (and any secondary stalks) terminates in a raceme of flowers. The flowers bloom near the apex of the inflorescence, while the seedpods develop below. Each flower is less than ¼" across, consisting of 4 white petals, 4 sepals, 4 stamens, and a pistil with a single style. The sepals are light green to dull purple, oblong in shape, and either hairless or slightly hairy; they are shorter than the petals. The blooming period occurs from early to mid-spring and lasts about a month. Each flower is replaced by a narrowly cylindrical seedpod (silique) up to 1" long. The seedpods are light green to dull purple, hairless, and ascending; they have stout pedicels up to ½" long. Each seedpod contains several small seeds that are ovoid, somewhat flattened, and wingless along their margins. The root system is shallow and fibrous. This plant spreads by reseeding itself.