Identification: Is this lambsquarters, orache, or something else??

Discussion in 'Pacific Northwest Native Plants' started by kdelta, Jul 16, 2015.

  1. kdelta

    kdelta New Member

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    Delta, BC
    Hi,

    While walking along Boundary Bay in SW BC, I came across this plant growing along the dike. My initial thought is that the plant is lambs quarters (Chenopodium album), but another opinion is the plant may be an orache (Atriplex spp.). The plant is not in flower at this time, so I only have the photo of the emerging buds. The leaves are unwettable and there are white specks on the underside.

    Thanks in advance.
     

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  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    I think it's going to be a chenopod.
     
  3. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    To me this looks like Orach; it doesn't have the right leaf shape or colour to be the common weed, Chenopodium album, which I see regularly in my garden. Atriplex dioica is the likeliest species, and the white specs on the leaves are probably salt, which these plants are known to exude.
     
  4. kdelta

    kdelta New Member

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    Vitog, so is this plant missing the serrated leaf margin that would be more indicative of lambs quarters?
     
  5. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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    A picture of the whole plant could help with identification a lot.
     
  6. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    The missing serrated leaf margin of lambs quarters is one indication as is the light green colour, which is unlike the gray-green that I associated with lambs quarters. The shape of some of the leaves corresponds nicely with this description of Orach's leaves from an ancient source (Euell Gibbons's "Stalking the Blue-Eyed Scallop"): "These are roughly triangular, 1 to 3 inches long and somewhat halberd-shaped, that is, shaped like an arrowhead, except that the two barbs on the lower edges are turned outward instead of pointing downward." Orach is also a seaside plant, which corresponds nicely with the habitat in which you found it.
     

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