Atriplex gmelinii C.A. Mey.
Gmelin's orache (Gmelin's saltbush)
Amaranthaceae (Amaranth family)
(Previously in Chenopodiaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Curtis Bjork     (Photo ID #15948)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Atriplex gmelinii
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Species Information

Annual herb from a taproot; stems decumbent to erect, freely branched, 0.1-1.0 m tall/long.
Lower leaves opposite, upper leaves alternate, stalked or stalkless, lanceolate to oblong or rounded, 2-10 cm long, the bases smooth or toothed, covered with a whitish mealy substance when young but becoming glabrous and greenish with maturity.
Inflorescence of terminal or axillary spikes or panicles; pistillate bracteoles only slightly thickened basally or not at all, largest ones strap-shaped or narrowly egg-shaped, 4-12 mm long.
Membranous pericarps; seeds erect, 1.5-2.7 mm long.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.

Habitat and Range

Moist to mesic shorelines in the lowland zone; infrequent along the coast; N to AK.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Atriplex gmelinii var. zosterifolia (Hook.) Moq.
Atriplex patula subsp. obtusa (Cham.) H.M. Hall & Clem.
Atriplex patula subsp. zosterifolia
Atriplex patula var. obtusa (Cham.) M. Peck
Atriplex patula var. zosterifolia (Hook.) C.L. Hitchc.

Taxonomic Notes

"The genus Atriplex, commonly called orache, atriplex or saltbush, of the family Chenopodiaceae (the goosefoot family), comprises nearly 200 species. The genus has a worldwide distribution, occurring on all continents except Antarctica. Most of the species are halophytes of coastal or inland saline habitats; a few are widespread ruderals of disturbed ground." (Bassett et al. 1983).


Bassett, I. J., C. W. Crompton, J. McNeill and P. M. Taschereau. 1983. The genus Atriplex (Chenopodiaceae) in Canada. Monograph #31, Agriculture Canada, Ottawa.