Stem : Stem and branches thickened at the nodes, occasionally rooting from basal nodes, simple or branched, terete and grooved, yellowish-green to reddish, glabrous, with axillary divaricate pale - brown spines which are 1.5 - 2.5 cm long.
Leaves : Long - petioled, alternate, broadly ovate - rhomboid, oblong or elliptic, obtuse, subacute or emarginated at apex, narrowed or decurrent at base, entire or minutely serrulate along the margins, undulate, glabrous, petioles 1 - 5 cm long.
Inflorescence : Panicles
Flowers : Small, about 1 mm greenish or greenish - white, in dense globose, axillary clusters upto 15 cm long, branched or unbranched, forming a panicle, unisexual, females usually clustered in axils, bracts linear, setaceus, bristle - tipped.Perianths of male acuminate; of females oblong, obtuse, apiculate. Stamens 5, styles 2, pubescent, stigmas 2.
Fruit : Utricles 1.5 - 2 mm long, membranous ovoid or oblong, 2 - 3 lobed and thickened at apex.
Seeds : 0.5 mm in diameter, black or brownish - red, with thin margin outside.
Flowering and Fruiting time : July to May
It is used as a pot - herb.
Boiled with pulses, it is also fed to cattle to increase the yield of milk.
The root is used for the treatment of bronchitis, asthma and skin - diseases and for poisonous stings.