Description from Flora of China
Subshrubs 15-40 cm tall. Woody branches gray-brown, longitudinally fissured; annual branches crowded, yellow-green, herbaceous, finely ribbed, papillate. Leaves alternate, fascicled on dwarf branches of older branches, semiterete, 1-2 cm × 1-2 mm, base expanded, above base constricted and petiole-like, leaf often deciduous from this point, apex obtuse or mucronate. Inflorescence spikelike, slender, loose; bracts longer than bractlets; bractlets narrowly ovate, shorter than perianth, margin membranous. Perianth (including wings) 5-7 mm in diam. in fruit; segments ovate, abaxially fleshy and winged from middle, margin membranous; portion of segment above wing tightly appressed to utricle, abaxially fleshy, margin membranous, apex obtuse; 3 wings yellow-brown, semiorbicular, larger; other 2 wings obovate, smaller. Anther appendages very small. Stigmas subulate, ca. 2 × as long as style. Seed horizontal. Fl. Jul-Aug, fr. Aug-Sep.
Arid slopes, alluvial fans, rocky riversides. W Gansu, Qinghai, Xinjiang [Mongolia].