Bouncing bet is a perennial with stout, erect, smooth, branching stems, up to 3 feet tall, with swollen nodes. Leaves have three distinct veins from the base, are smooth, narrow and 2 to 4 inches long. Flowers are conspicuous, and crowded at the ends of the main stem and branches, with petals that are generally pink.
Bouncing bet was introduced from Europe as a garden plant and has now escaped and become established as a weed in the region. It is poisonous but rarely grazed. It spreads rapidly and replaces plants of greater value. An alternative to planting bouncing bet is Garden Phlox (Phloxpaniculata)