Stems strictly erect, simple or branching above, 2-8 dm, moderately to densely farinose. Leaves nonaromatic; petiole 0.4-1 cm; blade linear to narrowly lanceolate, or oblong-elliptic, (1- or)3-veined, 1.5-4.2(-6) × 0.4-1(-1.4) cm, thick and somewhat fleshy, base cuneate, margins entire or with pair of lobes near base, apex acute, abaxial surface densely to sparingly white-mealy. Inflorescences glomerules in terminal and axillary panicles, 1-13 × 0.15-0.5 cm; glomerules usually densely disposed, maturing irregularly; bracts leaflike. Flowers: perianth segments (4-)5, distinct nearly to base; lobes oblong-ovate, 0.8-1 × 0.5-0.7 mm, apex obtuse, rounded or emarginate, strongly keeled along midvein, densely farinose, usually spreading from fruit; stamens (4-)5; stigmas 2, 0.2 mm. Utricles ovoid; pericarp nonadherent, smooth. Seeds round, 0.9-1.3 mm diam., margins rounded; seed coat black, rugulate. 2n = 18. Fruiting early summer-fall. Open sandy soils, pinyon woodlands, sagebrush, often in saline or alkaline habitats; 0-2400 m; Alta., B.C., Man., N.W.T., Ont., Sask., Yukon; Alaska, Ariz., Calif., Colo., Conn., Idaho, Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., La., Maine, Md., Mass., Minn., Mo., Mont., Nebr., Nev., N.H., N.J., N.Mex., N.Y., N.C., N.Dak., Okla., Oreg., Pa., R.I., S.C., S.Dak., Tex., Utah, Vt., Va., Wash., Wis., Wyo.
Plant: Annual forb to 1 m; herbage usually densely farinose Leaves: leaves alternate, petiolate, 3-8 cm, narrowly elliptic to lanceolate, lower blades usually 1 to 2-lobed Flowers: flowers very small, green; calyx segments generally 5, sepals not enclosing fruit, back keeled, moderately to densely powdery; stamens generally 5; ovary lenticular to spheric, stigmas 2-5 Fruit: lenticular, horizontal, ~1.5 mm, wall surface smooth, free from seed; Seed horizontal, red-brown to black; wall very thin Misc: Open, dry places; < 2500 m.; Jun-Sep