by Stephen Mifsud
   12 Jun 2024      ()
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Atriplex lanfrancoi   (Maltese Cliff Orache)

Atriplex lanfrancoi  (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 lanfrancoi - datasheet created on Nov-2007. Retrieved from on 12-Jun-2024

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 woody shrubs )
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection :

Protected by law: Regulation 26 and Schedule III of [S.L. 549.44] (Strictly protected endemic species)

Red List (1989) :

Threatened status for the Maltese Islands and has been listed in the Red Data Book (1st ed.)

Flowering Time :

August – October

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 )

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: 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: 2n=20
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.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
? Si(M)

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

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 above). Please do report mistakes, broken links, technical errors, 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
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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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