Atriplex

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Atriplex

 

a genus of plants of the family Chenopodiaceae. They are annual or perennial herbs, subshrubs, and shrubs. The plants have alternate leaves which are often covered with a mealy bloom (as is the stem). The flowers are unisexual, on monoecious, rarely dioecious, plants; they are gathered into small clusters, forming spicate or paniculate inflorescences. The staminate flowers are five-membered; the pistillate flowers generally do not have a perianth. The fruit is indehiscent and monospermous.

There are approximately 200 species of Atriplex, distributed in temperate and subtropical zones. More than 35 species are found in the USSR. Common orache (Atriplex patula) and the species A. nitens, which are both annuals, grow along fields, orchards, gardens, and vacant lots. The species A. tatarica grows on saline soil and among plantings of cotton. In Middle Asia, species of A triplex serve as feed for camels. Distributed in saline deserts and semideserts are the subshrubs A. alba, a good fuel and a pasture feed for camels in the winter and fall, and A. verrucifera (often included in the genus Halimione), which serves as feed for sheep and beef cattle. Garden orache, or French spinach (A. hortensis), is raised as an ornamental; its leaves, as well as those of A. tatarica and A. nitens, are sometimes used as food. Plants of the genus Chenopodium are often called Atriplex.

T. V. EGOROVA

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.