Bot. Beechey Voy., 387. 1841.
Shrubs, dioecious or monoecious, spinescent; herbage scurfy-puberulent when young, mostly with branched hairs, becoming glabrate. Stems erect, much branched, woody throughout, not jointed, forming a rounded bush; younger branches ribbed, rigid; lateral branches becoming spinescent. Leaves alternate, succulent or coriaceous; blade with midveins prominent, spatulate to oblanceolate, sometimes narrowly so, base gradually tapering to petiole, margins entire, apex rounded to obtuse. Inflorescences terminal, spikelike clusters. Flowers unisexual; staminate in 2–5-flowered clusters in bract axils, perianth 4(–5)-parted, equaling or slightly longer than stamens, stamens 4–5; pistillate in 1–few-flowered clusters per glomerule, each closely invested by 2 wholly united bracts, perianth absent; stigma 2-lobed. Fruiting structure: bracts forming flattened, samaralike fruiting structure around utricle, margins thickened, spongy within; pericarp free. Seeds vertical, compressed-lenticular, seed coat brown, tuberculate; embryo annular; perisperm copious. x = 18.
w United States.