Bushy, monoecious annual, stellate-hairy at first, later glabrous. Leaves narrow, needle-like to lanceolate, spine-tipped. Male flowers without bracteoles; perianth segments 2, elongate-spathulate, with scattered hairs. Female flowers solitary, without a perianth but with 2 bracteoles which are united and plicate and have a long spreading thorn at the tip. Style very short; stigmas 2, filiform. Pericarp very thinly membranous with simple and stellate hairs. Embryo green, loop-shaped. Fl. 5-7. Steppe in the highlands and mountains, deserts, 1000-1900 m.
Balkans, S. Russia, Asia.