Distribution: Occurring east of the Cascades crest in Washington; Washington south to California, east to the Great Plains.
Habitat: Saline areas in the prairies.
Conservation Status: Not of concern
Dioecious, rounded, freely branched shrub 4-20 dm. tall, the branches stout, terete, at first whitish-scurfy, the outer layer later peeling off.
Leaves numerous, alternate, from elliptic to linear, sessile, 2-5 cm. long and 2-8 mm. wide, entire, grayish-scurfy.
Staminate flowers tawny, glomerate in numerous spikes that form large, leafy panicles, the perianth cleft to the base into 5 scurfy segments; pistillate flowers few to many in open to congested, leafy to naked spikes and panicles; each flower subtended by 2 bracts, which are completely fused, enclosing the fruit, and enlarging to 5-15 mm.
Utricle enclosed by the fused bracts, which have 4 wings lengthwise, the wings broader and longer than the body of the bract, sharply toothed and strongly net-veined.