Alphabetical Plant Listing

Atriplex canescens (Four-Wing Saltbush)

Chamiso, Four-Wing Saltbush, Wing-Scale, Chamise, Chamize, White Greasewood, Saltsage, Fourwing Shadscale, Bushy Atriplex


Long-lived, Atriplex canescens (Four-Wing Saltbush) is a semi-evergreen shrub of upright, mounding habit with stout, branched stems clothed with alternate, narrowly oblong leaves, up to 2 in. long (5 cm), covered with fine silvery-white hairs. Four-Wing Saltbush is mostly dioecious, with male and female flowers on separate plants. Blooming from mid spring to mid fall, the male flowers are red to yellow and form dense spikes at the ends of the branches. The female flowers are axillary and inconspicuous, but they are followed by showy clusters of gold-tan, four-winged fruits, that may remain attached to the plant throughout winter. Four-Wing Saltbush has an extensive root system that can go as deep as 20 ft. (6 m), making it useful for stabilizing soil. Drought and salt tolerant, Four-Wing Saltbush typically spreads via seed distribution. An important native shrub on rangelands in the western United States, including the Intermountain, Great Basin, and Great Plains regions, Four-Wing Saltbush provides excellent season long browse for deer, and is a good browse plant for bighorn sheep, antelope, and elk in fall and winter. It is also a food source and excellent cover for sharptail grouse, gray partridge, sage grouse, and other upland birds, rabbits, songbirds, and small mammals.

  • Grows up to 3-6 ft. tall (90-180 cm) and 4-8 ft. wide (120-240 cm).
  • Thrives in deep, well drained soils in full sun. It is adapted to most soils, including loamy to sandy to gravely soils. Once established it will want little or no irrigation in the summer. Extremely drought tolerant, it is also very tolerant of saline soil conditions.
  • Great for banks and slopes thanks to its extensive root system that provides excellent erosion control. It also makes excellent screens, hedges, and barriers.
  • No serious pest or disease issues.
  • Severe pruning produces better-looking specimens.
  • Propagate by seed sown in spring or softwood cuttings taken from late spring to early fall.
  • Native to the western United States and Canada from the Pacific Coast to the Missouri River, and from Mexico to southern Alberta.

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Requirements

Hardiness 5 – 9
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Shrubs
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 3' – 6' (90cm – 180cm)
Spread 4' – 8' (120cm – 240cm)
Spacing 72" – 96" (180cm – 240cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Semi-Evergreen
Native Plants United States, California, Midwest, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Drought, Rocky Soil, Salt
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes, Hedges and Screens
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden

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Matt Lanvin, Andrey Zharkikh (Flickr), abeautifulworld (Shutterstock)

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 5 – 9
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Shrubs
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 3' – 6' (90cm – 180cm)
Spread 4' – 8' (120cm – 240cm)
Spacing 72" – 96" (180cm – 240cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Semi-Evergreen
Native Plants United States, California, Midwest, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Drought, Rocky Soil, Salt
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes, Hedges and Screens
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden

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