Madroño 30: 182, fig. 1. 1983.
Herbs or subshrubs, annual or usually perennial, yellow-green, green, or occasionally reddish, 1–6 dm, glaucous. Stems decumbent to erect, straw colored, branched, often woody at base, often with exfoliations; branches usually ascending. Leaves ascending, imbricate; blade green or reddish, linear-lanceolate, adaxial surface flat, 10–60 × 0.5–2.5 mm, base not narrowed, apex acute; proximal leaves usually withered, persistent or breaking apart into fibers, straw colored. Glomes in dense, mostly (2–) 5–20 cm compound spikes; (1–) 3–5-flowered; bracts smaller than leaves, 5–20 mm, usually widest at base. Flowers bisexual; perianth zygomorphic or irregular (one segment usually larger), 1.5–3 (–3.5) mm diam.; perianth segments abaxially rounded and keeled and distally hooded; stigmas (2–) 3. Seeds dimorphic; lenticular, 1–1.3 mm diam., with seed-coat black to reddish-brown, obscurely reticulate, shiny; or flat, 1.2–2 mm, with seed-coat brown, dull.
Phenology: Flowering late summer–fall.
Habitat: Coastal salt marshes
Elevation: 1-2 m
Calif., Mexico (Baja California)
"widest" is not a number."wider than long" is not a number.