by Stephen Mifsud
   6 Feb 2023      ()
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Atriplex halimus   (Shrubby Orache)

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

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Profile Date Nov-2007 (taxon update: none)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Atriplex halimus - datasheet created on Nov-2007. Retrieved from on 06-Feb-2023

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Atriplex halimusL.
Published in Sp. Pl. 1052 (1753)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Atriplex halimoides Tineo
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) :

Shrubby Orache, Mediterranean Salt Bush, Shrubby Sea Orache

Maltese name(s) :

Bjanka, Ħaxixa mielħa

Status for Malta :

Indigenous. Present on the Maltese islands before man

Frequency :

Very Common     Common    Frequent     Scarce     Rare    Very rare    Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: Nano-Phanerophyte ( small trees to large shrubs, usually <5 m )
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection :

Not legally protected till the last update of this website (2/Mar/2022)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :

August – November

Colour of Flowers:



Not particularly toxic

Name Derivation :

Atriplex: From Atraphaxys- meaning dark and intertwined of which reference to the corresponding plants is not certain, but one of the suggestions indicate it may refer lack of nutrition (A- and -traphein) alluding to the dry, arid and deprived ground in which many plants are able to grow. (Greek origin )
halimus: A coastal city suburb of Athens in Greece, but probably this was named the old greek word referring to the coast or seashore. (Greek origin )

Planting in rural areas :

Encouraged to be planted in the wild that is in rural areas including ODZ.

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Saline habitats, less often in dry waste places inland
Preferred habitat in Malta: Fertile areas close to the coast
Botanical Description: Erect, stout, shrubby perennial up to 250 cm, silvery-white. Leaves up to 4 cm, ovate-rhombic or deltate, almost coriaceous, entire or rarely dentate. Cymes remote, in a paniculate inflorescence. Bracteoles orbicular-ovate to orbicular or reniform, entire or dentate, usually without dorsal appendages.
Chromosome number: 2n=18
Distributional range: S. Europe

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):
the Balaeric Islands, Corse, Crete, France (incl. Monaco and Channel Islands but excluding Corse), Greece, Spain (incl. Andorra but excl. the Balaerics), Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), Portugal, Sardinia, Sicily and/or Malta
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
? AE(G) Ag Bl(I M N) -Bu dCa(C F L T) Co Cr Cy Eg Ga(F) Gr Hs(G S) Ir It Jo Le Li Lu Ma Sa Si(M S) Sn Sy Tn Tu(A) [Br nCa(T) nGa(C) nMd(P)]

Links & Further literature (0 papers)

Google Web

Google Images

Google Scholar

Research Gate




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



World Flora Online

Plants of the World Online

Vienna Virt. Herb.

RBGE Herbarium

KEW Herbarium




Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (10 images)
   Atriplex halimus   -   Image Code: ATXHA-0.
   Atriplex halimus   -   Image Code: ATXHA-1.
   Atriplex halimus   -   Image Code: ATXHA-2.
   Atriplex halimus   -   Image Code: ATXHA-3.
   Atriplex halimus   -   Image Code: ATXHA-4.
   Atriplex halimus   -   Image Code: ATXHA-5.
   Atriplex halimus   -   Image Code: ATXHA-6.
   Atriplex halimus   -   Image Code: ATXHA-7.
   Atriplex halimus   -   Image Code: ATXHA-8.
   Atriplex halimus   -   Image Code: ATXHA-9.

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Section B:   Where have you seen this plant on the Maltese Islands?
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