Herbs annual, 20-80 cm tall. Stem erect or decumbent, usually much branched, bark of lower stem exfoliating; branches slender, obliquely spreading. Petiole short or to 2 cm; leaf blade linear-oblong to triangular-ovate, 2-7 × 1-4 cm, abaxially densely gray-white furfuraceous, adaxially green and not furfuraceous, base cuneate to broadly so, margin irregularly serrate, sinuately lobed, remotely toothed, or entire, apex acute or shortly acuminate, with pellucid tip. Inflorescences axillary glomerules forming panicles on upper stem and branches; rachis densely furfuraceous. Male flowers: perianth obconic, 5-parted; stamens 5; anthers oblong. Fruiting bracts connate proximally, rhombic-ovate to ovate, basal central part yellow-white with prominent veins, sometimes with a few tuberculate appendages, margins ± dentate. Utricle ovoid or subglobose, compressed; pericarp white, membranous, adnate to seed. Seed vertical, yellow-brown to red-brown, 1.5-2.5 mm in diam.; perisperm yellow-brown, solid. Fl. and fr. Jul-Sep.
Herbs, much branched, forming tangled or spreading masses. Stems with branches divaricate or ascending, terete or obtusely angled, 2-10(-15) dm, sparsely scurfy when young. Leaves alternate (or the proximalmost opposite), long petiolate becoming nearly sessile distally, blade ovate to triangular, 15-50(-60) × 10-40 mm, base subhastate or cuneate, margin deeply or shallowly sinuate-dentate with acute or obtuse teeth, apex acute or obtuse, distalmost bracteate blades becoming entire and linear or oblong-linear. Staminate flowers in glomerules borne in slender, naked or sparingly bracteate (at base), mostly interrupted simple or paniculate spikes, calyx 5-cleft. Pistillate flowers fascicled in distal axils. Fruiting bracteoles strongly 3-veined and reticulate, sessile or short stipitate, ovate-rhombic or subflabelliform, 4-8 × 3-7 mm, moderately compressed, united from narrowed base to middle, margin broad, foliaceous, coarsely dentate, indurate at maturity, faces tuberculate or smooth. Seeds brown, 1.5-2 mm; radicle inferior, ascending.
Annual, (10-) 30-80 cm high, erect or ascending, branched, scurfy-mealy, becoming glabrescent or glabrous later; stem indurated, angular-striate. Leaves up to 6 x 3 cm, lower, long-petiolate, triangular-deltoid to lanceolate-hastate, rounded or acuminate at apex, mostly irregularly sinuate-dentate or incised or laciniate (lobes sometimes lobulate), prominently nerved and scurfy-canescent on both sides. Flowers in clusters and solitary, the former with staminate and pistillate flowers forming mostly leafless short spikes or panicles; the latter only pistillate, scattered in the axils of middle and upper leaves. Perianth of staminate flower 5, obtuse-segmented, fruiting valves 5-8 x 2-5 mm, orbicular or oblong-rhombic, dentate or entire, with or without appendages on back. Stigmas 2, connate at base. Seeds 1.5 mm across, lenticular, black-brown.