A. amaranthoides is an annual monoecious (has both the male and female flowers in the same individual) plant. It has a taproot type of root system, and its stem is about 20–80 centimetres (8–31 in) tall and rigidly upright. The lower leaves have short petioles and have a narrowly oval to long-pointed shape. The upper leaves are narrowly lance-like to egg shaped, and attached directly to the stems or branches without petioles. The leaves on the main stems are much bigger than branch leaves, but all the leaves are serrated with slightly bent or curved backward or downward edges. A single leaf is present at each node along the stem, forming an ascending spiral pattern.
Male flowers grow on the top of stem in the form of slim spike. One or two female flowers grow from the leaf axils below the male flowers. Fruits are oval-shaped, reddish-coloured and dry (i.e., with thin pericarps). Some fruits are winged on one side and flattened, and will germinate rapidly. Other fruits are wingless, and tend to be dormant. The flowering time is in July and August.