Atriplex longipes

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaChenopodiaceaeAtriplexAtriplex longipes


An erect to procumbent annual occurring in the upper parts of silty estuarine saltmarshes, usually in tall, ungrazed vegetation (including stands of Juncus maritimus and Phragmites australis) inundated by brackish water during high spring tides. Lowland.



World Distribution

European Boreal-montane element.

Broad Habitats

Littoral sediment (includes saltmarsh and saltmarsh pools)

Light (Ellenberg): 9

Moisture (Ellenberg): 6

Reaction (Ellenberg): 7

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 8

Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 4

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 4.2

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15.6

Annual Precipitation (mm): 982

Height (cm): 90

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary

Therophyte (annual land plant)



Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 39

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 0

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0

JNCC Designations


Scarce Atlas Account

Scarce Atlas Account: 

Atriplex longipes Drejer

Long-stalked orache

Status: scarce

This species is usually found in tall, estuarine saltmarsh vegetation, especially in silty, brackish sites. Associated species include a perennial variant of Aster tripolium, Cochlearia anglica, Juncus maritimus and Phragmites australis.

A. longipes is an annual that is capable of self-­pollination but also exhibits protogyny, which promotes outcrossing (Taschereau 1985). The flowers, to a large extent wind-pollinated, are produced during July and August.

A. longipes was not widely recognised as a British plant until its presence here was confirmed by Taschereau (1977). It is almost certainly under­-recorded. It hybridises extensively with A. glabriuscula and A. prostrata, making identification difficult.

A. longipes sensu stricto is endemic to Europe, occurring on the coasts of southern Scandinavia and the Baltic (Jalas & Suominen 1980). Scandinavian botanists usually treat the closely related A. praecox (q.v.) as a subspecies of A. longipes.


J. R. Akeroyd

Atlas text references

Jalas & Suominen (1980)
Jones EM
1975.  Taxonomic studies of the genus Atriplex (Chenopodiaceae). Watsonia. 10:233-251.
Stewart A, Pearman DA, Preston CD
1994.  Scarce plants in Britain.
Taschereau (1977