Small, herbaceous annual with angled stems, usually not branching. Flowers in terminal, dense, cylindrical heads, ranging from pink to white to green. Each flower has 5 sepals: The top 1 and lower 2 sepals are small and green, and the 2 side sepals are prominent, larger, and petallike, pink or white. The 3 petals are joined, forming a small, narrow tube, and are also pink or white. Blooms May–October. Leaves alternate, widely spaced, linear to narrowly elliptical, edged with extremely small teeth. Stalks are hairless, though spiky remnants of spent, dropped flowers remain beneath the flower head.