Common orache

Atriplex patula

Range: Common but scattered along coastline.  Frequent in S BC.  Likely introduced from Eurasia.

Description: Somewhat fleshy annual herb covered with a whitish, mealy substance when young, then becoming hairless and greener with age.  Taproot; stems erect or ascending, simple or branched, 10-100 cm tall.  Lower leaves opposite, upper leaves alternate, stalked or stalkless, 2-12 cm long, lanceolate to broadly lanceolate, rounded to arrowhead-shaped, 2-4 cm wide.

Ecology: Tidal marshes, beaches, saline soils, mesic roadsides, waste places and gardens in the lowland, steppe and montane zones.

Notes: Introduced species.  This is an edible wild green, best cooked as a potherb or in dishes like lasagne.  Beware, it contains oxalate salts and should not be used in large quantities.

  • Eflora
  • Pojar, J. and A. MacKinnon.  1994.  Plants of coastal British Columbia: including Washington, Oregon & Alaska. Lone Pine Publishing. Vancouver. 528 p.

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