Herbs, branching from base, mainly 0.5-1.5 dm, glabrous or sparingly scurfy. Leaves alternate to subopposite, petiolate; blade ovate to suborbiculate, 5-18(-20) mm, about as wide, margin entire, apex obtuse to acute. Staminate flowers in short terminal spikes. Fruiting bracteoles short stipitate, compressed, 3-7 mm wide and about as long, entire; perianth consisting of 5 hyaline, sparsely ciliate scales 1-1.2 mm. Seeds falling at maturity, black, 1.5 mm, shining, smooth. Flowering late summer-fall. Salt-desert shrub community; 1400-1500 m; Ariz., Colo., N.Mex., Utah.