forms low mats up to several feet across, with much branched stems, growing along the ground. The reddish stems contain milky sap, and all plant parts are hairless. Leaves are greyish-green in color, blunt-pointed at the tip, and they have entire edges. Leaves are attached by short stalks, around a third of an inch long, usually with a pair of small, linear stipules at the base.
One flower-like structure (cyathium) is produced from each leaf node; it has a bell-shaped involucre ringed by four yellowish-green glands, each flanked by a white bract, and enclosing a stalked, pistillate floret and up to 35 smaller, staminate florets. The glands are arranged asymmetrically, with a gap of around 120 degrees between the lateral pair. The white bracts are notched, or scalloped at the tip, and are narrower than the gland. The pistillate flower lengthens and its ovary forms the spherical, lobed, hairless fruit.