Perennial herb to about 25 cm tall with a contorted rhizome. Basal leaves deeply cut into 3 further-divided segments. Leaves below flowers stalkless, undivided, mostly toothed at the tip. Flower solitary, reddish-purple, sometimes paler at the base and with 12-20 perianth segments; spring. Fruits densely hairy.
Reddish purple flowers with 12-20 perianth segments. Anemone pavonina differs in having larger scarlet to purple, pink or white flowers with 7-9 perianth segments; A. ×fulgens, a hybrid between these 2 species, is similar to A. pavonina in having scarlet flowers but has about 15 narrower perianth segments; 'Annulata Grandiflora' is a cultivar of A. ×fulgens and its flowers have a pale cream centre.
Source: (1997). Ranunculaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 2. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 1. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.