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Sarcobatus vermiculatus

Sarcobatus vermiculatus (Hook.) Torr.


Chenopodiaceae (Goosefoot Family)

Synonym(s): Sarcobatus vermiculatus var. baileyi

USDA Symbol: SAVE4

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

A deciduous, much-branched shrub, 2-8 ft. tall, with spiny, rigid stems. Older branches are gray; the younger are yellowish-white. Leaves are narrow and fleshy. Catkin-like staminate flowers and axillary pistillate flowers are inconspicuous. A winged fruit follows. Perennial shrub, numerous yellowish-white to grayish, rigid branches that are very spiny.

Greasewood often occurs in pure stands on alkaline flats around playas. Its leaves accumulate sodium salts, giving them a salty taste. The Hopi Indians used it for fuel. A seond species, S. baileyi, from Nevada, is recognized by some authors.


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf: Yellow-Green
Size Class: 6-12 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Green
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May


USA: AZ , CA , CO , ID , MT , ND , NE , NM , NV , OR , SD , UT , WA , WY
Canada: AB , SK
Native Distribution: E. WA to s.e. CA, e. to Sask., w. Dakotas, n.w. NE & w. TX
Native Habitat: Salt desert shrub communities of valley bottoms & benches

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Saline clay to medium-textured, alkaline soils.
Conditions Comments: Not Available


Description: Not Available
Seed Collection: Not Available
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.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

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

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff

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