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Fourwing saltbush

Atriplex canescens

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1 Comment

ElviraMoon
ElviraMoon 8 years ago

Thanks for your submissions!
Some additional information on this shrub:
⁃ Leaf characteristics: filiform, narrow, alternate, green with silver/gray tinge,
⁃ Overall growth habit: bottom stems woody, erect evergreen shrub with erratic branching shape; plants unisexed (male & female plants)
⁃ Habitat: sandy, alkaline valleys, hillsides, drought resistant
- Nutritious forage for most browsing mammals.
- Ethnobotany: seeds ground for flour, top growth produces a yellow dye, leaves added to food impart a salty flavor.

Of note: Saltbush is salt, cold, and drought resistant. Plants are usually unisex (male or female). Some plants may change sex (from female to male) in response to environmental stress (cold, drought, heavy browsing, or prior heavy seed set) reverting to female sex when conditions improve. Most NA saltbush species hybridize easily and they evolve quickly. Atriplex canescens has several subspecies, and many hybrids are awaiting nomenclature classification. Even that is controversial because of their rapid hybridization.

dran840
Spotted by
dran840

Colorado City, Texas, USA

Spotted on Aug 1, 2012
Submitted on Aug 1, 2012

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