by Stephen Mifsud
   1 Oct 2020      ()
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Atriplex lanfrancoi   (Maltese Cliff Orache)

Atriplex lanfrancoi  (AMARANTHACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands at or after year 2000.

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Nomenclature and Basic Information Images
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Profile Date Oct-2010 (last update: 12-Jan-2019)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (Oct-2010) Atriplex lanfrancoi retrieved from on 2020-Oct-01

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Atriplex lanfrancoi(Brullo & Pavone) G. Kadereit et Sukhor.
Published in Candollea 42: 622 (1987)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Cremnophyton lanfrancoi Brullo & Pavone
Synonym that was used for long in Malta: Cremnophyton lanfrancoi Brullo & Pavone
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life ]

Plant Family :

Amaranthaceae Juss. (The Amaranth Family)
42 species from the Amaranthaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Maltese Cliff Orache

Maltese name(s) :

Bjanka tal-irdum

Status for Malta :

Endemic. Occurs only on the Maltese islands

Frequency :

Very Common     Common     Frequent     Scarce     Rare     Very rare     Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: CHAMEOPHYTE (dwarf or small shrubs)
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection [link]:

Protected by law: Regulation 26 and Schedule III of LN311/2006. (Strictly protected endemic species)

Red List (1989) :

This species has a threatened status and is listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :


Colour of Flowers:


Remarks :

Found in most Maltese floras and local literature under the name Cremnophyton lanfrancoi but phylogentic analysis have placed this endemic species within the broad genus of Atriplex. It is nested very ancestral within the clade. Some local authors argue that it should merit and retain its own genus given that the characters of this Orache do not match completely with the characters typifying the genus Atriplex. Until conservation of the species name is carried out by a publication, the species is currently treated as an Atriplex

Species Description and Distribution

Habitat in Europe:

Species endemic to the Maltese islands, not found in the rest of Europe

Preferred habitat in Malta:

Coastal cliffs

Botanical Description:

Erect, branched shrub up to 100 cm. Leaves opposite or alternate, 10-30 x 1-4 mm, linear-lanceolate or linear, obtuse or subacute. Flowers in sessile clusters of usually 1 female and 4 male. Female bracteoles 5-9 mm in fruit, orbicular, rounded or retuse at the apex, with or without 2 small appendages dorsally. Seeds c. 2 mm, ovoid, brown.

Chromosome number:


Distributional range:

Malta & Gozo

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):

Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):

Sicily and/or Malta

Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(Euro+Med Checklist, 2017) - Country codes

? Si(M)

Images (14 images)
   Atriplex lanfrancoi   -   Image Code: APXLN-0.
   Atriplex lanfrancoi   -   Image Code: APXLN-1.
   Atriplex lanfrancoi   -   Image Code: APXLN-2.
   Atriplex lanfrancoi   -   Image Code: APXLN-3.
   Atriplex lanfrancoi   -   Image Code: APXLN-4.
   Atriplex lanfrancoi   -   Image Code: APXLN-5.
   Atriplex lanfrancoi   -   Image Code: APXLN-6.
   Atriplex lanfrancoi   -   Image Code: APXLN-7.
   Atriplex lanfrancoi   -   Image Code: APXLN-8.
   Atriplex lanfrancoi   -   Image Code: APXLN-9.
   Atriplex lanfrancoi   -   Image Code: APXLN-10.
   Atriplex lanfrancoi   -   Image Code: APXLN-11.
   Atriplex lanfrancoi   -   Image Code: APXLN-12.
   Atriplex lanfrancoi   -   Image Code: APXLN-13.

Links & Further info

Google Web

Google Images

Yahoo Web

Yahoo Images




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



The Plant List


Vienna Virt. Hb.





Buy Seeds and Docs
Sales of seeds of wild plants for academic studies, research or personal use. Note that not all species seeds can be exported - depending on Maltese regulations and CITES, and availability depends on season. You are hence kindly requested to first fill and submit a quotation form by which you will get confirmation of the purchase, availability and charges. Currently local orders are not taken.   Online Quotation (Seeds)

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Use this form to submit more information on this species or report mistakes in this webpage. If information supplied is taken from a book, journal or website, please provide the corresponding reference or website address. Your email address is only for internal communication. Please report only Maltese locations for plants that indicated as rare or very rare (refer to the Nomenclature section). Please do report mistakes, broken links, technical errors, silly typing / grammar errors, misidentifications or taxonomical updates; this will help to improve the website's accuracy. Thanks you! Fill any of the three sections (A/B/C) below and kindly submit the form.     * = required fields.
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Section A:  Additional Information about this plant species
Own observations: Info from published material (books, journals, website):
Reference of published material:
Section B:   Where have you seen this plant on the Maltese Islands?
Locations in Malta or Gozo where you have seen this plant. Only applies for rare plants.

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Try to be as concise as possible. Examples: Dingli Cliffs (near chapel), Wied Incita (Zebbug side), Triq il-Kbira (Qormi), Barriera ta' Ghajn Abdul (Xlendi), Fields East of Salib tal-gholja (Siggiewi). GPS co-ordinates are also welcomed!
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