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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Garden Orache - Atriplex hortensis
Other Names:  Red Orach, Mountain Spinach, French Spinach

Non-native Species

Global Rank: GNR
State Rank: SNA
C-value: 1

Agency Status


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General Description
Monoecious annuals with green to red, glabrous foliage. Stems erect, 50–150 cm. Leaf blades opposite below, the blades lanceolate to broadly ovate, 5–20 cm long with mostly entire margins. Inflorescence of spikes in terminal and axillary panicles. Male flowers with a 5-parted calyx and 5 stamens. Female flowers dimorphic, some bracteate without a calyx, others ebracteate with a 5-parted calyx. Fruit either a horizontal seed surrounded by the calyx or a vertical seed surrounded by swollen, wing-like orbicular pistillate bracts 5–10 mm wide (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Range Comments
In MT in about half of the western counties and a few in the northeast and Hi Line; native to Eurasia, introduced to much of northern U.S. and southern Canada (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 13

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Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)



  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Jones, W. W. 1901. Preliminary flora of Gallatin County. M.S. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State College. 78 pp.
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Citation for data on this website:
Garden Orache — Atriplex hortensis.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from