The name Atriplex hastata has often been wrongly applied to this species. The name has now been rejected as being ambiguous. Atriplex hastata, as named by Linnaeus, is now viewed as a synonym of Atriplex calotheca (Rafn) Fr. (a species confined to the Baltic region of Europe) whilst Atriplex hastata (misapplied) is seen as a synonym of Atriplex prostrata (a species widespread in the northern Temperate zone)[
Areiplex hastata misapplied
Atriplex deltoidea Bab.
Atriplex latifolia Wahlenb.
Atriplex oppositifolia DC.
Atriplex platysepala Guss.
Atriplex polonica Zapall.
Atriplex triangularis Willd.
Common Name: Hastate Orach
Atriplex prostrata is an erect or ascending, annual plant growing 20 - 100cm tall. The stem is mostly branched, the lower branches usually prostrare[
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of potash
No member of this genus contains any toxins, all have more or less edible leaves. However, if grown with artificial fertilizers, they may concentrate harmful amounts of nitrates in their leaves.
Eurasia - Norway to Portugal, east to eastern Siberia, Mongolia, western China, Kazakhstan; Africa - Macaronesia, Morocco to Egypt; Israel
Waste or disturbed ground, often near the sea, on sand, shingle and mud above the high-tide mark[
]. Solonchaks, saline meadows, weed-infested places (especially in cities), and ruderal sites[
|Other Uses Rating||
Requires a position in full sun in any well-drained but not too fertile soil.[
] Tolerates saline and very alkaline soils[
A polymorphic species[
Leaves - cooked[
]. Used as a spinach substitute, they have a fairly bland flavour and are often mixed with stronger tasting leaves[
Seed - cooked[
]. Ground into a powder and used to thicken soups etc or added to wheat flour and used in making bread. Very fiddly to harvest because the seed is quite small.
The seeds have emetic and purgative properties[
This species is a poor companion for potatoes, inhibiting their growth when growing close to them[
The plant is used as a source of potash[
Seed - sow mid spring in situ[
]. Germination is usually rapid.