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 muddy coasts or tidal rivers, moist sandy places near the sea, on the S.E. coast. The habit is erect or prostrate. The leaves are thick, fleshy, more or less triangular, slightly toothed. The plant when fresh is succulent, brittle, limp when dry. The flowers are in a dense, compound spike, leafless above. The seeds are vertical, small, smooth, shining, keeled at the edge. The pericarp is loose. The plant is 2-6 in. high, flowering in September, and is a herbaceous annual.
The habitat of the plant is maritime places, muddy seashores. The habit is pyramidal. The root-stock is thick and fleshy, branched, tapered into a fleshy root. The stems are prostrate below, long, spreading in a circle, then ascending, numerous, branched, angular, striped, ascending at the apex. The leaves are fleshy, shining, the lower rhomboid, triangular to egg-shaped, the upper lance-shaped, narrowed into a broad leafstalk. The flowers are green, in long, clustered spikes, slender, simple, leafy, 2-3-flowered, stalkless. The bracts are linear to lance-shaped, longer than the clusters. The perianth-segments have entire keels, the outer (sepals) bent inwards, blunt, with membranous margins. The stigmas are lance-shaped. The plant is 1-3 ft. high, flowering between June and October, and is a herbaceous perennial.
The habitat of this plant is salt-marshes, brackish marshes, banks. The habit is erect. It closely resembles A. patula, but has narrower, usually entire leaves, not spear-shaped, or seldom rhombic. The plant is mealy. The stems are striped, with ascending branches. The leaves are narrow, entire or toothed, linear-oblong to lance-shaped. The upper leaves are very narrow. The flowers are in slender, terminal, clustered spikes. The fruiting perianth is rhomboidal, triangular, toothed, tubercled on the back. The seeds are nearly smooth, shining, all vertical. The plant is 1-2 ft. high, flowering between July and September, and is a herbaceous annual.
The habitat of this plant is cultivated and waste ground, where it is common. It may be native on the seashores of Great Britain. The habit is erect or ascending. The plant is mealy, deep green. The stem is striped, with spreading branches. The lower leaves are opposite, rhombic, or spear-shaped with ascending, blunt teeth, from a wedge-shaped base, entire or coarsely toothed, acute. The flowers are in simple spikes usually leafy below, the bracts broad. The female perianth-segments are rhombic, triangular, toothed, tubercled, rarely hardened, mixed with the males, the axillary solitary. They are spear-shaped, blunt at the base or triangular. The seeds are, when large, dark brown, flattened, the smaller smooth, shining. The plant is 1-4 ft. high, flowering from July to September, and is a herbaceous annual.