This short (15 cm) ligneous plant forms a dense mat on the ground. Its stem is a ligneous rhizome that creeps along the surface of the soil and turns up at the end in an aerial stem with a rosette of leaves at its base. Most of the leaves are part of the rosette, while others are arranged alternately higher up the aerial stem. The leaves are smooth, thick, stiff and dark green, often spotted with burgundy. They turn bright red in fall. They are composed of three stalkless leaflets. The plant bears small white flowers 1.2 cm across, in clusters of 5 to 10 at the tip of stem. The small dry fruit is 0.1 cm long.