Annual, monoecious weed, propagating itself by seed and occurring in many forms, up to 150 cm (59.05 inch) tall with a strong taproot.
Lower stem round or pentagonal in cross-section (Atriplex patula: almost square). Stems and leaves have almost spherical hairs, giving them a mealy, silvery appearance. Leaf edges are irregularly toothed.
Cotyledons: Fleshy, long and narrow with rounded tips, stemmed.
Stems: Lower stem rounded or pentagonal in cross-section, mealy and silvery in appearance.
Leaves: Very variable, oval to triangular in shape, dark green, mostly with uneven, forward-pointing teeth. Underside of the leaves reddish-purple, upper surface has a mealy, silvery coating.