GROWTH HABIT: Annual, 1 to 6 feet tall
LEAVES: Alternate, lance-shaped, entire 1/2 to 2 inches long, margins fringed with hairs; the upper surface is usually smooth, the lower surface usually covered with soft hairs; leaf blades with 3 or 5 prominent veins.
STEMS: Much branched, round, slender, usually soft-hairy, but occasionally smooth, often red-tinged.
FLOWER: Inconspicuous, sessile in the axils of upper leaves and form short, dense, bracted spikes.
SEEDS: Wedge-shaped, dull brown, slightly ribbed and approximately 1/16 inch long.
OTHER: Seedlings emerge in very early spring and should be treated with herbicides in this stage. Flowering and seed production may occur from July to October. Readily grazed by livestock, but sometimes contains high nitrate levels and can be toxic.