FIELD GUIDE TO SHRUBS

Flowering Saltbush (Four-wing Saltbush)
Atriplex canescens

Family: Chenopodiaceae

Preferred Habitat: occur on sand dunes, gravelly washes, on mesas, ridges, alluvial plains, and slopes

Range: From Canada to southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, east to Oklahoma and Texas

Height: up to 1.8 meters (6 feet)

Leaves: simple, occurring radially off stem, each up to 3 cm long, narrowly elliptic, dull gray-glue color

Flowers: male and female flowers usually occur on separate plants, male flowers grow in dense clusters arranged as spike-like branches and are green in color, female flowers grow in short spikes, yellow in color

Fruit: fruit is enclosed in a pair of 2-winged bracts, giving it the “fourwing” appearance

Location spotted: Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University

Extra information: used for rangeland and grazing for deer, bighorn sheep, antelope, and elk for its excellent nutritional value and high protein in particular