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Grayia spinosa (Spiny hopsage)
Reveal, James L.

Grayia spinosa

Grayia spinosa (Hook.) Moq.

Spiny Hopsage, Spiny Hop-sage

Chenopodiaceae (Goosefoot Family)

Synonym(s): Atriplex grayi, Atriplex spinosa


USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A semi-evergreen shrub, 2-4 ft. tall, with many stiff, erect, spiny branches. Older branches have shredding, dark gray bark. The fleshy, oval leaves are scurf-pubescent when young, becoming shinier with age. The flower cluster, a dense spike, is not showy. It is followed by a cluster of reddish or whitish fruiting bracts.

Extremely drought tolerant thanks to a deep root system, this shrub serves as a good food source for browsers, especially in the dry months when other plants have dropped their leaves.


From the Image Gallery

13 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf: White-Gray
Size Class: 3-6 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun


USA: AZ , CA , CO , ID , MT , NV , OR , UT , WA , WY
Native Distribution: S.w. MT to e. WA, s. to AZ & e. CA
Native Habitat: Dry, brushy plains, foothills & desert valleys

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Dry, deep to shallow, often alkaline soils.
Conditions Comments: Extremely drought tolerant due to a deep root system.


Description: Not Available
Seed Collection: Seeds from the winged fruit are flat, round, and brown.
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Additional resources

USDA: Find Grayia spinosa in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Grayia spinosa in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Grayia spinosa


Record Modified: 2018-08-30
Research By: TWC Staff

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