Herbs, perennial, sometimes flowering as an annual, spreading 0.7-10 dm, slightly woody at base. Stems frequently tinged with red, much branched, sparsely scurfy. Leaves many, sessile or short petiolate; blade obovate, oblong, oblanceolate, or elliptic, (5-)7-20 × 1-3(-5) mm, base cuneate, margin entire, apex acute. Staminate flowers in glomerules in distal axils and short terminal spikes. Pistillate flowers in small axillary clusters. Fruiting bracteoles sessile or subsessile, broadly obovate, 2-3 mm and as broad or about as broad, united 1/2 of length, margin free, deeply and sharply dentate, narrowed at summit, faces smooth or sometimes tuberculate. Seeds brown, 1.3-1.5 mm. Flowering spring-fall. Somewhat alkaline or clay low places, valley grasslands, coastal sage scrub, coastal slopes; of conservation concern; 0-500 m; Calif.