Paronychia fastigiata is an annual herb from a taproot, stem erect, 4-30 cm tall, slender, finely hairy, branched well above base in an open, forked (dichotomous) pattern, nodes slightly swollen, stems often red with age; stipules to 0.4 cm long, membranous, needle-shaped, margins sometimes fringed.
Leaves of major branches opposite, stalkless, blade narrow, 0.2-2.5 cm long, 0.1-0.7 cm wide, lower leaves lost in flowering plants; leaf-like bracts of inflorescence branches alternate, small.
Flowers pale green to brownish, 0.2-0.3 cm long, cylindrical, above small membranous bracts, (use lens), no petals, calyx 5-lobed, stiff, divided almost to base, tips of lobes hooded (Flora of North America 1993+); blooms and fruits July-Oct.
Fruit dry, 1-seeded, 0.1 cm long, partly enclosed in persistent calyx.
Wetland status: UPL.
Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent.
Habitat: Dry, acid, open sandy or rocky soil (Yatskievych 2006).