Atriplex gmelinii

C. A. Meyer ex Bongard

Mém. Acad. Imp. Sci. St. Pétersbourg, Sér. 6, Sci. Math. 2: 160. 1838.

Common names: Gmelin’s orach
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 4. Treatment on page 333. Mentioned on page 324, 334.

Herbs, monoecious, erect or ascending, branched from base or rarely simple, 0.5–8(–100) dm; proximal branches mostly elongated and often prostrate. Leaves alternate, except the proximal-most; petiole 0.5–1.5(–2) cm; blade green on both sides, ovate to oblong or lanceolate to oblong, deltoid-oblong, or linear, 9–100 × 1–50 mm, base mostly rounded to tapering or more rarely broadly cuneate from a hastate base, margin entire or repand denticulate, apex acute or acuminate or more rarely obtuse, glabrous or nearly so. Flowers glomerate in rather loose, spiciform inflorescences, and in axillary clusters; staminate ones 4–5-merous. Fruiting bracteoles darkening at maturity, sessile or stipitate, ovate or oblong to orbiculate, longest ones strap-shaped or ovate-lanceolate, mainly 4–10 mm, distinct nearly to base, margin entire or with (1 or) 2 or more teeth, apex acuminate to acute, often bulging on both sides of the impressed midnerve, at first mealy, finally glabrate. Seeds dimorphic: some small, black (lacking? in var. alaskensis), convex, 1.5–2 mm wide, lustrous, others pale brown, flat, 1.5–3.5 mm wide; radicle inferior or subascending. 2n = 54.


V4 632-distribution-map.gif

B.C., N.W.T., Alaska, Calif., Wash.


Varieties 2 (2 in the flora).

Selected References



1 Brown seeds 1.7-3 mm wide; fruiting bracteoles mostly less than 10 mm; leaf blades mainly oblong to lance-oblong or linear, less commonly hastate-lanceolate Atriplex gmelinii var. gmelinii
1 Brown seeds 2.8-3.5 mm wide; fruiting bracteoles often more than 10 mm; leaf blades oblong to lanceolate or hastate-lanceolate or -ovate Atriplex gmelinii var. alaskensis