Flaigg, Norman G.
Atriplex canescens (Pursh) Nutt.
Chamiso, Four-wing saltbush, Fourwing saltbush, Wingscale
Chenopodiaceae (Goosefoot Family)
Four-wing saltbush is a 3 ft., semi-evergreen shrub
which can reach 8 ft. Summer flowers are insignificant, but the clusters of gold-tan, four-winged fruits, which occur on female plants only, are showy. The branches and small, narrow leaves of this mound-shaped shrub
are covered with a dense, silvery pubescence. Extremely variable shrub: compact and rounded; sprawling and low; to open-branched and treelike.
There are many varieties of Four-winged Saltbush. The plant is known to hybridize with at least a dozen other Atriplex species, and new forms and varieties continue to arise.
Image Gallery: 6 photo(s) available
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Root Type: Tap Leaf Complexity: Simple Leaf Shape:
Linear Breeding System:
, Dioecious Leaf:
Brown Four-winged Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct
AZ , CA , CO , ID , KS , MT , NE , NV , NM , ND , OK , OR , SD , TX , UT , WA , WY Native Distribution:
ND to Alt. & e. WA, s. to TX, AZ & Baja CA Native Habitat:
Dry, barren flats; slopes; washes USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Alkaline, well-drained soils. Saline tolerant, Caliche type, Limestone-based, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam
Conditions Comments: Will work in extremely dry, salty conditions and in recommended for its durability rather than its beauty. Useful for stabilizing soil and providing wildlife cover. Saltbush can be very invasive and difficult to eradicate, especially in wetlands. Severe pruning produces better specimens. If planting in a rabbit or deer area, plants will need to be caged until foliage reaches 3-4 ft.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Showy, Fall conspicuous, Fruits ornamental, Erosion control
Use Wildlife: Important as wildlife cover and food plants. Fruit-mammals, Fruit-birds, Nectar-bees, Nectar-insects
Warning: This plant may accumulate levels of the soil mineral selenium that makes it toxic to livestock.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for: