This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
A considerable order of herbaceous or shrubby plants of little beauty. It is represented in Britain by about six genera and twenty species. The principal distinctive floral characters are - an inconspicuous 5-parted perianth, 5 stamens opposite the flat perianth-segments, and a membranous or baccate 1-seeded fruit. Chenopodium album, Goose-foot or Fat-Hen, is one of the commonest of annual weeds. The ornamental species are few, not more than one or two being cultivated for the beauty of their flowers. There is a variety of the garden Orach, Atriplex hortensis rubra, with crimson foliage; and the Chilian Beet, Beta Chilensis, furnishes two handsome foliage-plants, one bright yellow and the other crimson.
Atriplex Hallmus is a hardy dwarf evergreen shrub with simple alternate small ovate-oblong "entire petiolate leaves densely clothed with a grey scaly indumentum. It is a sea-coast plant from the Mediterranean region.
Chenopodium scoparium,, syn. Kochia seoparia, Belvedere Cypress, is a tall slender erect-growing annual 4 to 6 feet high with linear lanceolate entire leaves and small greenish flowers. Chenopodium purpurdscens, syn. C. Atriplicis, is a handsome annual from China, with lanceolate petiolate entire or lobed leaves and clustered heads of blight reddish purple flowers. The stems and foliage are frequently coloured.
Blitum virgatum, Strawberry Blite, is a weedy-looking annual from Southern Europe and Asia, with triangular hastate irregularly-toothed leaves on long petioles, and inconspicuous spicate flowers followed by fleshy scarlet fruits.