Description from Flora of China
Herbs annual, 20-70 cm tall. Stem branched from base; branches alternate or lower ones opposite, spreading, light green, sometimes whitish, not straight, glabrous. Lower leaves opposite, upper ones alternate, all semiterete, 2-7 cm × 2-4 mm, glabrous, base expanded, slightly decurrent, margin membranous, apex minutely mucronate. Inflorescence spicate, loose; flowers usually solitary; bracts longer than bractlets; bractlets narrowly ovate, margin narrowly membranous near base, apex acute. Perianth segments ovate, membranous, hardened in fruit, abaxially with a triangular process on distal middle part, glabrous; portion of segment above process strongly inflexed, with others forming a truncate surface tightly appressed to utricle, apex obtuse. Anthers oblong, 1-1.5 mm; appendage minute. Stigmas filiform, 2-3 × as long as style. Utricle obovoid, 3-4 mm in diam. Fl. Jul-Aug, fr. Aug-Sep.
Saline lake shores, meadows with saline soils. Xinjiang [N Africa, C and SW Asia, S Europe; locally naturalized in North America (C California) and South America (Argentina)].