Erect or ascending annual, branched from near base, to c. 1 m high, glabrous, dull grey-green to strongly pink-tinged. Leaves linear to narrowly elliptic, acute or obtuse, 6-15 mm long, c. 1 mm wide. Flowers all bisexual or some female, in axillary clusters; perianth lobed from base. Fruiting perianth not inflated, but sometimes prominently keeled dorsally and/or with a narrow basal lobe, depressed-globular, to c. 2.5 mm diam.; seed horizontal, lenticular with perimeter acute, slightly keeled, 1.5-2 mm diam., testa dark reddish-brown, minutely reticulate-patterned (visible at × 20 magnification). Flowers May, Sep. (2 records).
*MuF, *MuM, *VRiv. Also naturalised Tas. Native through much of Europe, western Asia. Collected chiefly from roadsides on slightly saline, loamy or clay soils, with dense local infestations (Mildura, Cohuna and Cobram areas).
A very variable and widespread species in Europe where predominantly a species of coastal saltmarshes.
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