Description from Flora of China
Shrubs or small trees, 2-4(-5) m tall. Branchlets spreading, dense; branches of current year mostly ascending. Leaves of vegetative branches subamplexicaul, ovate, ovate-lanceolate, or nearly triangular-ovate, 1-2 × ca. 0.6 mm, base slightly decurrent, margin often cartilaginous, apex long acuminate or acute; those of growing branches semiamplexicaul, narrowly ovate, base subrounded or decurrent, faintly auriculate, apex shortly acuminate. Racemes mostly in branches of current year, 3-6(-9) cm × 2.5-4 mm; flowers small and dense, usually clustered in fascicles, sometimes in lax terminal panicles, appearing in early summer and lasting to September, sometimes (in mountain areas) racemes appearing in spring on branches of previous year; bracts ovate-subulate or linear-lanceolate, 1-1.5 mm, equaling or exceeding calyx, apex acuminate. Pedicels 0.5-0.7 mm, shorter than or subequaling calyx. Calyx 5-fid; sepals ovate-triangular, 0.5-0.7 × ca. 0.3 mm, ca. 1/2 shorter than petals, margin membranous, subentire, apex slightly obtuse; outer 2 more obtuse than inner 3, tightly enveloping ovary after anthesis. Petals 5, completely open, white or pink to purple, obovate or elliptic, 1-1.7(-2) × ca. 0.5 mm, deciduous after anthesis. Disk often purple-red, 5-fid; lobes often retuse at apex or deeply subdivided into 10 lobules. Stamens 5; filaments long, often 1.2-2 × exceeding petals, slender, usually inserted between disk lobes; anthers small, apex obtuse or sometimes mucronate. Ovary narrowly conic, 0.7-1.3 mm; styles 3, short, 1/3-1/2 as long as ovary. Capsule small, ca. 3 mm, narrow. Fl. May-Sep. 2n = 24*.
River banks in Gobi Desert. Gansu, Xinjiang [Afghanistan, Mongolia, Pakistan; C and SW Asia].