This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol5-6", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
The habitat of this plant is sea-coasts. The plant has been regarded as a subspecies of A. patula. The habit is as in the last. The plant is pale and very mealy. The stems are spreading, prostrate then ascending, with spreading branches. The leaves are egg-shaped, usually opposite, triangular, or rhomboid to egg-shaped, entire, wavy, the upper lance-shaped, 3-lobed below, toothed. The flowers are in distant, axillary and terminal, clusters, the spikes loose and leafy, few-flowered. The fruiting perianth is rhomboidal, acute, toothed, tubercled on the back, the sepals united belowat the hardened base, or to the middle. The seeds are minutely tuberculate, all vertical, large, pale. The plant is 6-36 in. high, flowering between July and September, and is a herbaceous annual.
Atriplex laciniata, L - - The habitat of this plant is sandy sea-coasts. The habit is prostrate then ascending. The plant is clothed with persistent, silvery scales. The stem is buff or reddish, not striped, angular, branched from the base, the branches spreading, stout or slender. The lower leaves are opposite, mealy below, entire or toothed, acute or blunt, rhombic to egg-shaped, wedge-shaped below, the upper the same or spear-shaped, shortly-stalked. The floral leaves are stalkless. The male flowers are in short, dense, naked spikes, the females in the axils, with a few males between. The fruiting perianths are united to the middle, broader than long, rhomboidal, 3-lobed, with blunt, lateral lobes ending in tubercles, 3-ribbed on the back, entire, toothed or lobed. The disk is prominently veined or wrinkled, rarely tubercled. The seeds are reddish-brown, large, much flattened at the border, rough, opaque. The plant is 6-36 in. in height, flowering between July and October, and is a herbaceous annual.
It differs from A. hastata, L., of which it has been regarded as a variety, only in having- a prostrate stem, more fleshy leaves, and sepals deeply cut, with slender teeth. It is 6-18 in. high.
The habitat of this plant is muddy maritime cliffs and marshes, muddy salt - marshes. The habit is shrubby. The plant is mealy, covered with small, persistent, greyish-white scales. The rootstock is woody and branched. The stem is woody below, prostrate, wavy, the branches erect. The leaves are silvery white, usually opposite, with a rounded tip, spoon-shaped to lance-shaped, entire, narrow below, the upper narrower, linear. The flowers are in terminal, interrupted spikes or panicles, leafy below. The fruiting perianth is cupular, stalkless, wedge-shaped, inversely triangular to rounded below, with 3 unequal or equal lobes above, rough on the back, flattened at the border. The seed is rough, chestnut colour. The plant is 1-2 ft. high, flowering from August to October, and is a herbaceous perennial.
The habitat of this plant is muddy shores, muddy maritime marshes, and salt-marshes. The habit is herbaceous. The plant is mealy. The stem is wavy, branched or simple, slender, round. The leaves are narrowly' inversely egg - shaped, oblong, narrow below, entire, with a rounded tip, shortly-stalked, the upper narrower. The flowers are in terminal spikes, reduced to axillary clusters, more or less stalkless, one or two fruiting in each cluster, when the stalk lengthens and spreads. The fruiting perianths are long-stalked, bell-shaped, wedge-shaped, with 2 bent-back lobes, with 2 intermediate teeth, 2 lateral lobes. The plant is 3-8 in. high, flowering from August to October, and is a herbaceous annual.