Spies Melde (Atriplex prost rata, synonym: Atriplex hastata) is an annual plant belonging to the amaranth family Amaranthaceae. It is a plant of moist, nitrogen-rich clay farmland, roadsides, flood marks on flats and salt marshes. The plant tolerates salt in the soil. The species is native to Eurasia.
The often corny looking pollinated plant is 20-90 cm high. This plant is very variable in shape and color, making it by some taxonomists to distinguish among species. The plant is dark green to gray and often reddish. The often thickened, triangular, spear-shaped leaves up to 10 cm long.
Spies Melde blooms from July to September. On the same plant are both male and female flowers. Pollination is by wind. The flowers are greatly reduced. The male flowers have sepals only. The female flowers have no sepals and no petals. The female flower will have two characteristic fruit valves, as a kind of wings on the fruit down, making them more spread by wind. The triangular fruit valves up to 8 mm long. The edge may be serrated and can bracteool on the back small wart-like appendages. The fruit valves are up to fourth connate, usually thickened and hardened slightly during ripening. The carrot seed points in the horizontal to oblique. The fruit is a nut.
See also: International Flower Delivery, Florist