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Atriplex hortensis

(Garden Orach)


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Common Names

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Click on the language to view common names.

Common Names in Arabic:

بقل الروم

Common Names in Azerbaijani:

Atriplex hortensis

Common Names in Catalan, Valencian:


Common Names in Chinese:

Yu Qian Bo Cai, 榆钱菠菜

Common Names in Czech:

Lebeda Zahradní

Common Names in Danish:

Have-Mælde, Havemælde

Common Names in Dutch:


Common Names in English:

Garden Orach, Atriplex hortensis, French spinach, Garden Arrach, garden atriplex, Garden Orache, garden saltbush, Mountain Spinach, Mountain-Spinach, Orach, Orache, Red Orach, Sea Purslane

Common Names in Finnish:


Common Names in French:

Arroche épinard, Arroche Des Jardins, bonne dame, Epinard Géant

Common Names in Galician:


Common Names in German:

Garten Melde, Garten-Melde, Gartenmelde, Spanischer Spinat

Common Names in Italian:

Atriplex hortensis, Atriplice, Atriplice Degli Orti, Bietolone Rosso

Common Names in Japanese:

Akaza, oraachu

Common Names in Ossetian, Ossetic:


Common Names in Polish:

Łoboda ogrodowa

Common Names in Portuguese:

Armolas, Erva armola

Common Names in Romanian:


Common Names in Russian:

Lebeda Sadovaja, лебеда садовая

Common Names in Spanish:

Armuelle, Armuelle Mole, Bledos Moles

Common Names in Spanish, Castilian:

Atriplex hortensis

Common Names in Swedish:

Trädgårdsmålla, Trädgårdsmålla

Common Names in Ukrainian:

Лобода садова


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Family Amaranthaceae

Herbs, clambering subshrubs , shrubs , or lianas. Leaves alternate or opposite, entire, exstipulate . Flowers small, bisexual or unisexual , or sterile and reduced, subtended by 1 membranous bract and 2 bracteoles, solitary or aggregated in cymes. Inflorescences elongated or condensed spikes (heads ), racemes , or thyrsoid structures of varying complexity. Bracteoles membranous or scarious . Tepals 3-5, membranous, scarious or subleathery, 1-, 3-, 5-, or 7(-23) -veined. Stamens as many as tepals and opposite these, rarely fewer than tepals; filaments free , united into a cup at base or ± entirely into a tube , filament lobes present or absent, pseudostaminodes present or absent; anthers (1- or) 2-loculed, dorsifixed , introrsely dehiscent . Ovary superior, 1-loculed; ovules 1 to many; style persistent , short and indistinct or long and slender; stigma capitate, penicillate , 2-lobed or forming 2 filiform branches. Fruit a dry utricle or a fleshy capsule, indehiscent, irregularly bursting, or circumscissile. Seeds lenticular , reniform , subglobose, or shortly cylindric , smooth or verruculose .

About 70 genera and 900 species: worldwide; 15 genera (one introduced ) and 44 species (three endemic, 14 introduced) in China.

Morphology of the androecium, perianth (tepals), and the inflorescence has traditionally been used to circumscribe genera and tribes . Pseudostaminodia are interstaminal appendages with variously shaped apices. Filament appendages are the lateral appendages of filaments (one on each side) . The basic structure of the inflorescence is the cyme (branchlets arising from the bracteole axils, the bracteoles serving as bracts for upper flowers), which can be reduced to one flower with two bracteoles and a bract. Units of dispersal vary considerably (capsules opening with lower part persistent, flower and bracteoles falling together, or cymose partial inflorescences breaking off above bract) and can be characteristic for genera. Several genera possess long trichomes serving dispersal at the base of the tepals.[1]

Genus Atriplex

Herbs or shrubs, annual or perennial , monoecious or dioecious, often with bladderlike hairs that collapse to form silvery or scurfy (mealy ) vesture, less often with elongate trichomes . Leaves persistent or tardily deciduous, alternate, partially opposite, or opposite, sessile or petiolate ; blade entire, serrate, or lobed , with venation either of Kranz-type or normal dicotyledonous type, axillary buds inconspicuous or lacking. Inflorescences axillary or terminal ; flowers borne in axillary clusters or glomerules , or in terminal spikes or spicate panicles. Staminate flowers with 3-5-parted calyx, ebracteate ; stamens 3-5. Pistillate flowers lacking perianth, pistil naked, or in few species with (1-) 3-5-lobed perianth, commonly enclosed within pair of foliaceous bracteoles; stigmas 2. Fruiting bracteoles enlarged in fruit, of various shapes and variously connate or not, thickened, and appendaged; pericarp free , tightly enclosed in the fruiting bracteoles. Seeds flattened, mainly vertical ; radicle inferior, lateral , or superior. x = 9.

Species ca. 250: worldwide, mainly in subarctic , temperate , and subtropical regions.

Many species of Atriplex are halophytic, others occupy soils low in dissolved particulates.

Prior to the 1900s, the genus Suckleya was treated within Atriplex, but its obcompressed fruiting bracteoles are quite unlike anything in Atriplex, and the plants were recognized as a distinct genus.[2]

Physical Description

Species Atriplex hortensis

Herbs, green to yellowish or reddish, 5-15(-25) dm, glabrous . Stems erect , mostly branched. Leaves mostly opposite or mostly alternate; petiole 0.3-4+ cm; blade green on both sides, ovate or ovate-lanceolate to cordate-hastate at base , 15-180 × 8-135 mm, margin entire or more rarely irregularly toothed or lobed , apex attenuate to acuminate or rounded . Inflorescences of spikes disposed in leafless panicles. Staminate flowers 5-merous. Pistillate flowers dimorphic , some ebracteolate and with 5-parted perianth, others without perianth enclosed by a pair of sessile or very shortly stipitate bracteoles. Fruiting bracteoles samaralike, orbicular to oval or ovate, compressed , 5-18 mm, united only at base, entire, faces smooth . Seeds of ebracteate flowers black, horizontal, convex , 1-2 mm wide, lustrous ; those of bracteolate flowers olivaceous brown, vertical , flat, 3-4.5 mm wide, dull . 2n = 18. [source]

Atriplex hortensis has been widely grown as a potherb, has escaped from cultivation, and is now established especially in moist ruderal sites. It is easily distinguished by its rounded, samaralike, entire, and smooth fruiting bracteoles, and the presence of two kinds of pistillate flowers, the one enclosed by bracteoles and lacking sepals, the other without bracteoles but subtended by sepals. [source]

Atriplex nitens (see list of excluded taxa) is distinguished from A. hortensis in Flora Europea (P. Aellen 1964b) by having leaf blades densely white scurfy beneath , the distal surface lustrous, as opposed to green and dull for A. hortensis. Occasional specimens, treated here as A. hortensis, have leaves somewhat scurfy. [source]

Habit: Forb/herb

Flowers: Bloom Period: June. • Flower Color: chartreuseyellow-green, inconspicuous, none, red


Size: 36-48" tall.


Roadsides, canal and stream banks, lake shores , disturbed sites and gardens; 0-2200 m [3].

Typically found at an altitude of 0 to 3,180 meters (0 to 10,433 feet).[4]


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Duration: Annual


Culture: Space 12-15" apart.

Sunlight: Sun Exposure: Full Sun .


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Atriplex Hortensis Var. atrosanguinea Hort. • Atriplex nitens Schkuhr


Name Status: Accepted Name .

Last scrutiny: 15-Mar-2000

Similar Species

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Members of the genus Atriplex

ZipcodeZoo has pages for 159 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus. Here are just 100 of them:

A. acadiensis (Maritime Saltbush) · A. acanthocarpa (Armed Saltbush) · A. acanthocarpa acanthocarpa (Parish's Glasswort) · A. acanthocarpa subsp. coahuilensis (Tuburcled Saltbush) · A. alaskensis (Alaska Orache) · A. alba (Lambsquarters Goosefoot) · A. ambrosioides (West Indian Goosefoot) · A. amnicola (River Saltbush) · A. aptera (Moundscale) · A. argentea (Silverscale Saltbush) · A. argentea argentea (Sack Saltbush) · A. argentea argentea var. argentea (Silverscale Saltbush) · A. argentea expansa (Silverscale) · A. argentea longitrichoma (Silverscale) · A. argentea typica (Silverscale) · A. argentea var. argentea (Silverscale Saltbush) · A. argentea var. caput-medusae (Stalked Saltbush) · A. argentea var. hillmanii (Hillman's Silverscale Saltbush) · A. argentea subsp. expansa (Silverscale Saltbush) · A. aristata (Sea Foam Flower) · A. asterocarpa (Chinle Saltbush) · A. australasica (Australian Orache) · A. barclayana (Barclay's Saltbush) · A. billardierei (Crystalwort) · A. bonnevillensis (Bonneville Saltbush) · A. botrys (Jerusalem Oak Goosefoot) · A. californica (California Saltbush) · A. calotheca (Halberdleaf Orach) · A. canescens (Four-Wing Saltbush) · A. canescens canescens (Salt Sage Atriplex) · A. canescens var. angustifolia (Fourwing Saltbush) · A. canescens var. canescens (Fourwing Saltbush) · A. canescens var. gigantea (Fourwing Saltbush) · A. canescens var. laciniata (Fourwing Saltbush) · A. canescens var. linearis (Fourwing Saltbush) · A. canescens var. macilenta (Fourwing Saltbush) · A. cinerea (Grey Saltbush) · A. confertifolia (Shad-Scale Saltbush) · A. cordulata (Heart-Leaf Saltbush) · A. coronata (Crown Saltbush) · A. coronata notatior var. notatior (San Jacinto Valley Crownscale) · A. coronata var. coronata (Crownscale) · A. coronata var. notatior (San Jacinto Valley Crownscale) · A. corrugata (Mat Saltbush) · A. coulteri (Coulter's Saltbush) · A. cristata (Crested Saltbush) · A. cuneata (Castlevalley Saltbush) · A. cuneata cuneata (Castlevalley Saltbush) · A. cuneata introgressa (Castlevalley Saltbush) · A. cuneata subsp. introgressa (Castlevalley Saltbush) · A. depressa (Bittlescale) · A. dioica (Thick Leaved Orache) · A. drymarioides (Seashore Saltbush) · A. eardleyae (Small Saltbush) · A. elegans (Wheel-Scale Saltbush) · A. elegans var. elegans (Wheelscale) · A. elegans var. fasciculata (Wheelscale) · A. elegans var. thornberi (Wheelscale) · A. endolepis (Endolepis) · A. erecticaulis (Erectstem Saltbush) · A. expansa expansa (Silverscale Saltbush) · A. falcata (Sickle Saltbush) · A. franktonii (Frankton's Saltbush) · A. fruticulosa (Ball Saltbush) · A. gardneri (Gardner's Saltbush) · A. garrettii (Garrett Saltbush) · A. glabriuscula (Northeastern Saltbush) · A. gmelinii (Gmelin's Saltbush) · A. graciliflora (Slender-Flower Saltbush) · A. griffithsii (Griffith's Saltbush) · A. halimus (Mediterranean Saltbush) · A. heterosperma (Two Scale Saltbush) · A. hillmanii (Hillman's Silverscale Saltbush) · A. hollowayi (Holloway's Crystalwort) · A. holocarpa (Pop Saltbush) · A. hortensis (Garden Orach) · A. hortensis var. rubra (Mountain Spinach) · A. hortensis 'Burgundy' (Mountain Spinach) · A. hortensis 'Crimson Plume' (Mountain Spinach) · A. hortensis 'Golden' (Mountain Spinach) · A. hortensis 'Oracle' (Mountain Spinach) · A. hymenelytra (Desert Holly) · A. joaquiniana (San Joaquin Saltbush) · A. johnstonii (Johnson's Saltbush) · A. klebergorum (Kleberg's Saltbush) · A. laciniata (Cut-Leaf Saltbush) · A. lampa (South American Saltbush) · A. lentiformis (Big Saltbush) · A. lentiformis breweri (Big Saltbush) · A. lentiformis lentiformis (Big Saltbush) · A. lentiformis subsp. breweri (Quailbush) · A. leucophylla (Beach Saltbush) · A. lindleyi (Lindley's Saltbush) · A. littoralis (Grassleaf Orache) · A. longipes (Long-Stalked Orache) · A. maritima (Herbaceous Seepweed) · A. matamorensis (Matamoros Saltbush) · A. maximowicziana (Maximowicz's Saltbush) · A. micrantha (Two-Scale Orache) · A. minuscula (Lesser Saltbush)

More Info

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Further Reading

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Data Sources

Accessed through GBIF Data Portal November 12, 2007:



  1. Bojian Bao, Thomas Borsch & Steven E. Clemants "Amaranthaceae". in Flora of China Vol. 5 Page 415. Published by Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at [back]
  2. Stanley L. Welsh "Atriplex". in Flora of North America Vol. 4 Page 226, 260, 268, 293,. Oxford University Press. Online at [back]
  3. "Atriplex hortensis". in Flora of North America Vol. 4 Page 322, 323, 332. Oxford University Press. Online at [back]
  4. Mean = 220.750 meters (724.245 feet), Standard Deviation = 374.210 based on 1,337 observations. Altitude information for each observation from British Oceanographic Data Centre. [back]
Last Revised: 2015-01-30