Page authors: David Giblin, Don Knoke
Atriplex heterosperma
orach, Russian atriplex orach

Distribution: Occurring east of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to California, east to the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains; also in eastern North America.

Habitat: Riparian zones and adjacent fields; tolerant of alkaline.

Flowers: June-August

Origin: Introduced from Eurasia

Growth Duration: Annual

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Wind


Monoecious, weedy annuals, the stem erect, branching from the base, 5-15 dm. tall.


Leaves alternate except the lower cauline; petioles 2-3 cm. long; leaf blades triangular to lance-triangular, green on both sides, 30-120 mm. long and 12-90 mm. wide, usually hastate, the margins entire or irregularly dentate.


Flowers in terminal or axillary panicles 6-25 cm. tall; staminate flowers with 5 sepals, 5 petals and 5 stamens; pistillate flowers dimorphic, lacking a perianth, the pistil naked, enclosed with a pair of leafy bracteoles; stigmas 2.


Fruiting bracteoles ovate, of 2 sizes; larger ones 5-6 x 5 mm., smaller ones 2 x 2 mm. Seeds of larger bracteoles yellowish brown, of smaller bracteoles, black.

Accepted Name:
Atriplex heterosperma Bunge
Publication: Beitr. Fl. Russl. 272. 1852.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Atriplex micrantha Ledeb., misapplied [KZ99]
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Atriplex heterosperma in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Atriplex heterosperma checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Atriplex heterosperma information.

E-Flora BC: Atriplex heterosperma atlas page.

CalPhotos: Atriplex heterosperma photos.

USDA Plants: Atriplex heterosperma information.

24 photographs:
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