Annual herb, decumbent or erect, branched from the base and also above, c. 15-60 cm, stem and branches striate or sulcate, ± densely clothed with appressed white hairs at least when young. Leaves broadly lanceolate to oblong or elliptic-oblong, 2.5-12 (-15) x 2-4 (-6) cm, narrowed to an ill-defined petiole below, thinly pilose on both surfaces, the pair of leaves subtending the terminal inflorescence sessile or almost so, broadly to subcordate-ovate. Inflorescences sessile above the uppermost pair of leaves, usually solitary, globose or depressed-globose, c. 2 cm in diameter, pinkish to deep red; bracts deltoid-ovate, 3-5 mm, mucronate with the shortly excurrent midrib; bracteoles strongly laterally compressed, navicular, c. 8-12 mm, mucronate with the excurrent midrib, furnished from the apex almost to the base of the dorsal surface of the midrib with a broad, irregularly dentate crest. Tepals similar to those of G. celosioides but longer (6-6.5 mm), the outer more lanate and the inner less markedly indurate at the base. Staminal tube subequalling the perianth, the 5 teeth deeply bilobed with obtuse lobes subequalling the anthers. Style and stigmas together c. 2.5 mm, stigmas divergent, subequalling or slightly longer than the style. Capsule oblong-ovoid, compressed, c. 2.5 mm. Seeds compressed-ovoid, c. 2 mm, brown, almost smooth, shining.
Type: Linnean specimen 319/1 (LINN, holotype!).
Distribution: A native of tropical America, long cultivated in the warmer regions of the world and its exact native area obscured; often found as a garden stray or outcast but rarely if ever truly naturalised, at least in the Old World. A common ornamental in Pakistan.