Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Atriplex confertifolia

Shadscale, Spiny saltbush, Shadscale saltbush, Hop sage

Chenopodiaceae (Goosefoot Family)

Atriplex confertifolia (Shadscale)
Simpson, Benny
Shadscale or spiny saltbush is an erect, rigidly branched, spiny, rounded shrub, 1-3 ft. high. Persistent, velvety-gray leaves are densely crowded on scurfy branches which may become shiny and leafless. Attractive, summer flowers are followed by masses of creamy-yellow seed clusters.

Image Gallery:

20 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Subshrub
Root Type: Tap
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Monoecious
Leaf: Green
Fruit: Two-winged
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Green
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul


USA: AZ , CA , CO , ID , MT , NV , NM , ND , OR , TX , UT , WY
Native Distribution: W. ND to e. OR, s. to n. & w. TX & n. AZ
Native Habitat: Alkaline desert valleys; hillsides; bluffs

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Cold Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Dry, rocky or sandy, alkaline soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay, Limestone-based, Caliche type, Calcareous.
Conditions Comments: Very salt and alkaline tolerant. Thrives on adversity. Will tolerate, but not do well, in clay.

Last Update: 2008-10-31