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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Genus: Atriplex

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Core Eudicots > Order: Caryophyllales > Family: Amaranthaceae; > Subfamily: Chenopodioideae

About 250 species, found worldwide, mainly in arid, saline or disturbed habitats in temperate and tropical regions. There are 12 species native to southern Africa, five naturalised, and an additional eight species that have been cultivated in the region.

Species native to southern Africa

List from Plants of Southern Africa - an Online Checklist (SANBI) and Flora of Zimbabwe.

Atriplex amboensis


Atriplex cinerea


Atriplex erosa


Atriplex hortensis (Orache)


Atriplex littoralis


Atriplex nitens


Atriplex patula


Atriplex rosea


Atriplex semibaccata

Atriplex semibaccata

Atriplex suberecta


Atriplex vestita


Species naturalised in southern Africa

List from Plants of Southern Africa - an Online Checklist (SANBI).

Atriplex eardleyae


Atriplex lindleyi subsp. inflata

A declared Category 3 invasive plant in South Africa.


Atriplex lindleyi subsp. quadripartita


Atriplex muelleri


Atriplex nummularia (Old man saltbush)

Atriplex nummularia is native to Australia and has been introduced to arid and semi-arid areas of the world, including southern Africa, where it has become naturalised and is also grown as a fodder plant. It is a declared Category 2 invasive plant in South Africa, which means that it can only be cultivated in certain demarcated areas with permission. It grows as a bush, reaching 2 m in height and 2.4 m wide.

Atriplex spongiosa


Other species, cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002).

Atriplex breweri

Native to California.


Atriplex canescens

Native to western Australia.


Atriplex cordifolia

Native to south Australia.


Atriplex halimus

Indigenous from Mediterranean to western Asia.


Atriplex hastata

Native to Europe and Asia.


Atriplex lentiformis

Native to western USA.


Atriplex leptocarpa (Slender-fruited saltbush)

Native to eastern Australia.


Atriplex pseudocampanulata

Native to Australia.



  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated Plants of Southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.

  • Makgakga, M.C. 2003. Chenopodiaceae. In Germishuizen, G. & Meyer, N.L. (eds), Plants of southern Africa: an annotated checklist. Strelitzia 14: 362-369. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.