« Back to main plant list

Four-Wing Saltbush

Atriplex canescens

Details & Attributes


Plant Type(s) Shrub, perennial
Native to Arizona Yes!
Water Needs Low
Sun Full sun, partial shade
Has Spines No
Size
In relative feet, width by height
8 × 6
Freeze Tolerant No
Flowering Season February-August
Flower Color Green
Minimum Temperature Range 10-15 °F
Leaf Description Oblong, light green with a dusting of waxy scruff.
Fruit Small, papery, 4-winged; remains on the shrub.
Longevity
In years
20
View on SEINet View SEINet Entry
Range Map View SEINet Range Map
Elevation Range 300-6500 ft.
Ethnobotany Seeds used for meal, yellow dye. Havasupai used it to make soap for washing hair and to treat itches and rashes. Hopi used the ashes as a substitute for baking soda. Navajo used it as an emetic to cause vomiting, to treat ant bites, cough, and as a hair tonic.
Description A common, somewhat nondescript shrub with attractive silvery-grey foliage . This plant tolerates a variety of environmental conditions and is a good species to populate disturbed areas with poor soils. Due to its evergreen (eversilver in this case) nature, saltbush can be used as a hedging shrub, or blended into a landscape with mesquite (Prosopis velutina), Palo Verde (Parkinsonia microphylla), desert broom (Baccharis sarothroides), globe mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua), fairy duster (Calliandra eriophylla), and native grasses. This is considered a great plant for attracting quail who eat the seeds. Four-wing Saltbush plants are mostly dioecious, meaning each plant has either male or female flowers, not both. Only the female plants will produce seeds, and only if there are male plants also present in the population.