Pubescent perennial herbs or low shrubs, with alternate entire narrow leaves and monoecious or dioecious flowers, capitate or spicate in the axils. Staminate flowers not bracteolate, consisting of a 4-parted calyx and as many exserted stamens. Pistillate flowers 2-bracteolate, the bractlets united nearly or quite to their summits, densely covered with long silky hairs, 2-horned; calyx none; ovary ovoid, sessile, pubescent; styles 2, exserted. Seed vertical; embryo nearly annular in the mealy endosperm, its radicle pointing downward. [From the Greek for hoariness or mould.]
Two known species, the following of western North America; the other, of western Asia and eastern Europe is the generic type.
A stellate-pubescent erect much-branched shrub 1°-3° high, the hairs long, white when young, becoming reddish brown, the branches ascending, very leafy. Leaves linear or linear-lanceolate, short-petioled or the upper sessile, obtuse at the apex, narrowed at the base, 1/2'-2' long, 2"-4 1/2" wide, their margins revolute, the midvein prominent, the lateral veins few; flowers monoecious, densely capitate in the upper axils, forming terminal leafy spikes; bracts lancolate, 2"-4" long in fruit, appendaged by 4 tufts of spreading hairs; calyx-lobes acute, pubescent; utricle loose, the pericarp readily separating from the large seed.
In dry soil, Saskatchewan to western Nebraska, Texas, California and Washington. Winter-fat. Romeria. June-Sept.