Russian atriplex occurs with greasewood, saltgrass, cottonwood, tamarix, and weedy annuals. It is a handsome, vigorous ruderal, weedy annual indigenous to Europe east to Chinese Turkestan that appears to be invading saline lowland and other disturbed areas throughout much of North America. It is similar to Atriplex prostrata from which it can be distinguished by the entire margin and smooth surfaces of the fruiting bracteoles. Additionally, the leaves are thick-textured and often bear one or more lobes or teeth irregularly along the blade above the subbasal main hastate lobe. The staminate spikes when young are very slender, mainly less than 2.5 mm thick.