Shrubs, moundlike, 3-8 dm. Stems decumbent, woody stems dull gray-brown, herbaceous stems pale green or reddish, highly branched, glabrous or sparsely villous with scattered trichomes, leaf scars on woody stems knobby; branches spreading. Leaves ascending, subsessile, ± imbricate; petiole ± 1 mm; blade green, usually not glaucous, ± lanceolate, subcylindric to flattened, 5-35 × 1-2.5 mm, apex acute, glabrous or with scattered marginal trichomes. Glomes distributed throughout plant on branches, 1-5-flowered; branches 2-4 mm diam.; bracts densely imbricate at branch tips, similar in shape and size to leaves. Flowers bisexual or lateral pistillate; perianth 2-3 mm diam.; perianth segments proximally connate, glabrous; ovary without obvious distal necklike extension; stigmas 3. Seeds horizontal or vertical, 1.5-2 mm; seed coat black. Flowering late summer-fall. Intertidal margins of coastal salt marshes; 1-10 m; of conservation concern; Calif. Suaeda californica is an endangered species with a current distribution only on the margins of Morro Bay in San Luis Obispo County and a re-established colony in San Francisco Bay.