This plant is a long-lived perennial forb, widespread throughout the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains. It blooms in the spring and summer and has red-orange flowers and palmately-lobed leaves. The plant is generally covered with dense, stellate (star-shaped) hairs.
Many animals forage on scarlet globemallow, including bison, bighorn sheep, and antelope. Scarlet globemallow leaves first appear around March. It flowers between May and July and starts to develop the first seeds in July and August.