Atriplex patula

Scientific Name Atriplex patula
Common Names English: Common orache; German: Spreizende Melde; French: Arroche étalée
Description Annual weed, propagating itself by seed, occurring in many forms, vigorous, 30-90 cm (11.81 - 35.43 inch) tall and branching with a taproot.

Descriptions

Characteristic Features

Either male or female flowers on each plant; lower stem practically square in cross-section.
The lowest teeth on the leaves are more pronounced than in Chenopodium album and point towards the leaf tip.

Cotyledons

Long, narrow, often with a rounded tip.

Stems

Often deeply grooved and branching with very long, horizontal side branches.

Leaves

Alternate, petiolate, ovate to lanceolate, lower leaves often hastate, lightly dentate, upper leaves entire, dark green, young leaves usually farinaceous.
The upper surface of each blade is hairless or glabrous, while the lower surface is often white-mealy.

Propagatio Organs

Flowers

Diecious (Chenopodia spp: monoecious).
Flower clusters in erect, spike-like racemes; whitish-green.

Flowering Period

Midsummer - autumn.

Fruit

A. patula produces two types of the fruit. The large one is 2-3 mm (0.078 - 0.12 inch) long with a single ochre-colored seed; the small one is 1-2 mm (0.039 - 0.078 inch) long with a single black seed.

Seeds

Germination from late spring-autumn.
Each seed is covered by a thin rough membrane that is difficult to remove.

Viability Of Seeds

20-100 years.

Propagation

100-6,000 per plant.

Occurrence

Habitat

Woodland borders, gardens, edges of yards, unmowed areas, areas along railroads and roadsides, dumps, and waste areas.

Soil

Humus-rich, nitrogen-rich and well-aerated soils.

Agricultural Importance

A. patula is a typical example of a late-season weed in crops which mature late. It competes strongly for water and nutrients. It considerably reduces yield and seriously interferes with harvesting.

Control

Integrated Crop Management

The high seed production and long viability of seeds in the soil requires intense soil cultivation to reduce seed bank and induce fatal germination.

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