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Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Atriplex hymenelytra (Torr.) S. Wats.
Desert holly, Silver holly
USDA Symbol: athy
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
A 2-3 ft., compactly branching plant from thickened, gnarly, woody bases. The roundish leaves are covered with a silvery-white scurf. Compactly branched, silvery white, covered with numerous hollylike leaves. Greenish flowers are in panicled spikes and are followed by flattened fruit.
The hollylike leaves of this extremely attractive shrub are often used in household decorations.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Leaf Complexity: Simple Leaf:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Green
Bloom Time: Jan , Feb , Mar , Apr
AZ , CA , NV , UT Native Distribution:
S.w. UT to s.e. CA, s. to AZ & Mex. Native Habitat:
Dry, sandy or stony sites USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Dry, sandy or stony soils
Conditions Comments: Must have well-drained site and as little water as possible to survive. Tolerates high alkalinity.
PropagationDescription: Increase by seed or softwood cuttings.
Seed Collection: Gather by hand when ripe in late summer or fall. Cleaning or dewinging before storage is not necessary although the bracts contain high accumulations of soluble salts which may inhibit germination. Store seed in cloth or paper bags in a dry, cool place. Seeds must undergo a period of after-ripening.
Seed Treatment: Germination of many Atriplex species can be increased by presoaking the fruits and then wringing the water and dissolved salts from the material.
Commercially Avail: yes
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Native Seed Network
- Corvallis, OR
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Record Modified: 2009-02-20
Research By: TWC Staff