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Long-stalked Orache

Atriplex longipes

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Amaranthaceae (Amaranth)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
1 metre tall
Meadows, roadsides, saltmarshes, seaside.

Yellow, 5 petals
Clusters of yellowish flowers situated in the leaf axils. 5 stamens.
The fruit is an achene, enclosed by two bracteoles. The bracteoles are spongy at their bases.
An annual flower with narrowly triangular leaves. The leaves are sometimes toothed. The basal lobes on the sides of the leaves point forwards or sideways. The stems are angular. Sometimes seen growing on salted roadside verges.
Frequency (UK):

Other Information


Atriplex longipes, commonly known as Long-stalked Orache, is a species of saltbush from the Amaranthaceae family. It is a perennial plant that typically grows to be around 30-100 cm tall. It has a bushy habit, and the leaves are ovate or triangular, 1-10 cm long and 2-6 cm wide, and are green or gray-green in color. The flowers are small, inconspicuous and greenish-white and are produced in dense spikes or panicles. This plant is commonly found in saline soils, salt marshes, and alkali flats and it is tolerant to salt and drought. It is also used as a forage plant and it is considered as a weed in some parts of the world.


Long-stalked Orache, also known as Atriplex longipes, is a herbaceous plant native to western North America. This unique plant has several distinctive features, including its long, slender stalks and its edible leaves.

Long-stalked Orache typically grows in sandy or gravelly soils, often near streams or in other moist areas. The plant can reach heights of up to three feet, with leaves that are generally oblong in shape and measure around two inches in length. The leaves are typically green or gray-green in color, with a slightly wavy texture.

One of the most striking features of Long-stalked Orache is its long, slender stalks. These stalks can measure up to two feet in length, and they give the plant a distinctive appearance that is easily recognizable. The stalks are typically green or red in color, and they may be either smooth or slightly rough to the touch.

Long-stalked Orache is an important food source for both wildlife and humans. The leaves are edible and can be cooked and eaten like spinach or used as a salad green. The seeds of the plant are also edible and have been used as a food source by Native American tribes for centuries. In addition to its nutritional value, Long-stalked Orache has also been used for medicinal purposes, particularly as a treatment for digestive problems and other ailments.

Despite its many benefits, Long-stalked Orache is not without its challenges. The plant is often considered a weed, and it can be invasive in some areas. In addition, it may be toxic to livestock if consumed in large quantities, so it is important to exercise caution when grazing animals near Long-stalked Orache populations.

Long-stalked Orache is also known to have cultural and spiritual significance for many Native American tribes in the western United States. The plant has been used in various traditional ceremonies and is believed to have healing properties. Some tribes also use the plant to make dyes for textiles and other materials.

In terms of its ecology, Long-stalked Orache plays an important role in stabilizing soil and preventing erosion in riparian areas. Its deep root system helps to hold soil in place, while its above-ground biomass provides a protective layer that helps to prevent sediment from washing away during floods or heavy rainfall events.

Long-stalked Orache is a hardy and adaptable plant that can thrive in a variety of environmental conditions. However, it is particularly well-suited to dry and arid environments, where its ability to conserve water and tolerate drought conditions gives it a competitive advantage over other plants.

In recent years, Long-stalked Orache has become the focus of increased attention among conservationists and restoration ecologists, who are working to restore riparian habitats and improve water quality in streams and rivers throughout the western United States. By planting Long-stalked Orache and other native plants, these efforts aim to create healthier and more resilient ecosystems that support a diverse array of wildlife and plant species.


Long-stalked Orache (Atriplex longipes) is a plant species belonging to the family Amaranthaceae. Here are some facts and a summary about this plant:

  • Long-stalked Orache is a herbaceous perennial plant that is found in the western United States and Mexico.
  • It is commonly found in areas with alkaline soils such as salt flats, alkali flats, and deserts.
  • The plant has an erect stem that can grow up to 3 feet tall, and its leaves are long and narrow, with a slightly wavy edge.
  • Long-stalked Orache produces small, inconspicuous flowers that are green or yellowish-green in color and are arranged in clusters.
  • The plant is an important food source for many animals, including pronghorn antelope, mule deer, and desert bighorn sheep.
  • Long-stalked Orache has a long history of use by indigenous peoples in the region for food and medicinal purposes. The leaves and stems are often boiled or steamed and eaten as a vegetable, and the plant has also been used to treat various ailments such as stomachaches and skin conditions.
  • The species is considered to be a low-maintenance plant that can survive in harsh conditions, making it a good choice for restoration projects and xeriscaping.
  • Long-stalked Orache is not currently listed as a threatened or endangered species, but it may face some threats from habitat loss and degradation due to human activities such as development and agriculture.

In summary, Long-stalked Orache is a hardy and useful plant species that is found in the western United States and Mexico. It has a long history of use by indigenous peoples for food and medicine, and it is an important food source for many animals. While it is not currently endangered, it may face some threats from human activities.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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