Plants 1–4(–6) dm. Stems prostrate, decumbent, or ascending, base often reddish, branched proximally. Leaves: ocrea loose, glabrous; petiole (0.5–)1–8(–15) cm, glabrous; blade subhastate to elliptic or ovate, 1–10 × 0.5–6 cm, base truncate to cuneate, apex obtuse to acute. Staminate flowers 1–8 per ocreate fascicle; tepals narrowly oblong to oblanceolate, 1.5–2 mm. Pistillate flowers 1–4 per ocreate fascicle; outer tepals ovate to oblong, 4–6 mm in fruit, inner tepals broadly triangular-ovate, 5–6 mm in fruit, apex mucronate. Fruiting perianths 7–9 × 9–10 mm, spines ascending or spreading, 5–10 mm, base tapering. Achenes 4–6 × 2–3 mm, shiny. 2n = 20.
Phenology: Flowering year-round.
Habitat: Disturbed sites, especially in sandy soils
Elevation: 0-200 m
Introduced; Calif., Africa (Republic of South Africa), introduced in West Indies (Trinidad), Europe, Asia (India, Pakistan, Taiwan), Africa (Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Tanzania, Zimbabwe), Pacific Islands (Hawaii), Australia.