Atriplex patula

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Atriplex patula
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Amaranthaceae
Genus: Atriplex
A. patula
Binomial name
Atriplex patula
Atriplex patula, female flower with bracteoles and seed

Atriplex patula (spear saltbush; common orache; spear orach; spreading orach; /ˈɒrə/[1]) is a ruderal, circumboreal species of annual herbaceous plant in the genus Atriplex naturalized in many temperate regions. Atriplex patula is a member of the family Chenopodiaceae.[2]

Although it is commonly asserted that Atriplex patula has been naturalized in North America only since the eighteenth century,[3][4] seeds ascribed to this species occur on the west coast of North America in buried marsh deposits that predate European contact.,[5][6]


Atriplex patula commonly grows along roads and waste sites.[7] It has a wide range, including semi-arid deserts and coastal areas in Asia, North America, Europe, and Africa.[2] It grows to be between 50 and 80 cm tall.[2] The branches extend outwards from the stem with rhomboid leaves and separated clusters of flowers.[2] Atriplex patula accumulates salt from the environment in its tissues. Unlike other Atriplex species, A. patula does not have notable salt bladders to excrete salt onto the leaves.[8]


Atriplex patula has been proven to be effective in lowering salt content in soils when planted in areas with high road salt contamination.[8]


  1. ^ "orache". Oxford English Dictionary third edition. Oxford University Press. June 2004. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d Sukhorukov, Alexander; Kushunina, Maria; Verloove, Filip (2016-07-14). "Notes on Atriplex, Oxybasis and Dysphania (Chenopodiaceae) in West-Central Tropical Africa". Plant Ecology and Evolution. 149 (2): 249–256. doi:10.5091/plecevo.2016.1181.
  3. ^ Atriplex patula in Flora of North America
  4. ^ "USDA PLANTS Profile". Archived from the original on 2013-05-11. Retrieved 2008-05-20.
  5. ^ Sherrod BL, 2001. Geological Society of America Bulletin 113, 1299-1311.
  6. ^ Milker Y, et al., 2016. Quaternary Science Reviews 142, 143-163.
  7. ^ Prokopiev, I. A.; Filippova, F. V.; Shein, A. A. (March 2012). "Effect of anthropogenic pollution with dust containing heavy metals on seed progeny of spear saltbush". Russian Journal of Plant Physiology. 59 (2): 212–216. doi:10.1134/S1021443712020148. ISSN 1021-4437. S2CID 17780607.
  8. ^ a b Mann, Ellen; Rutter, Allison; Zeeb, Barbara (October 2020). "Evaluating the efficacy of Atriplex spp. in the phytoextraction of road salt (NaCl) from contaminated soil". Environmental Pollution. 265 (Pt B): 114963. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114963. PMID 32806446.