Atriplex patula spearscale orach; spear saltbush Chenopodiaceae ATPA4*; Bx, pb; NY, bl (Stalter and Tang 2002), iw; Q; j, wl, rb, K, fl, m; R, c, gr, hs, pr, w;

   

Atriplex patula.Robert W. Freckman Herbarium, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.wisplants.uwsp.edu (Accessed 5/2014).

Atriplex patula.Robert W. Freckman Herbarium, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.wisplants.uwsp.edu (Accessed 5/2014).

Atriplex patula is an annual C3 herb (Jacobs 2001), stem to 1 m, erect to prostrate, widely branching, slender, finely ribbed, gray-green, stem veins often reddish, especially at nodes. 

Atriplex patula leaves. Photo by Pino Perino. luirig.altervista.org

Atriplex patula leaves. Photo by Pino Perino. luirig.altervista.org (Accessed 10/2017).

Leaves alternate above, opposite below, 4-12 cm long, larger leaves mostly arrow-shaped, tip pointed, base flat or with flaring lobes, corners sharply pointed outward, smaller leaves often lance-shaped pointed at both ends, upper leaves often linear; slightly fleshy, surface gray-green, silvery, mealy-textured. 

Atriplex patula. inflorescence, uitstaande_melde_bloeiwijze. commons.wikimedia.org (Accessed 10/2017).

Flowers green, tiny, sexes separate on same plant (monoecious); inflorescence of dense spikes, in axils of leafy bracts and branch tips, upper inflorescence interrupted spikes, July-Nov. Self fertile, wind pollinated but also visited by syrphid flies that eat pollen (Bassett and Munro 1987). 

Fruit dry, tiny, 1-seeded, enclosed in 2 triangular bracts with low horn-like protuberances, tuning red at maturity. Seeds eaten by some birds. 

Wetland status: FACW. 

Frequency in NYC: Occasional. 

Origin: Eurasia. 

Habitat: Weed of open, disturbed areas, moist fill, parking lot edges, shore areas, high salt marsh, salt tolerant.