Atriplex confertifolia (Shadscale)

Spine-tipped evergreen to deciduous halophytic shrub up to 3 ft. tall with yellow or nondescript dioecious flowers, blooming March to October. Adapted to a wide variety of soil types, preferring well-drained soils and indicating subsoil salinity; 1,500 to 8,000 ft. elevation. Inhabits both warm and cold deserts, often found in large, pure stands within the lowest and most arid salt desert shrub communities within the Great Basin and Mojave Desert. Highly palatable to browsing livestock and wildlife, especially valuable during winter. Spiny branches limit utilization. Excellent cover and food for reptiles and small mammals including black-tailed jackrabbits, a major food source of golden eagles. Leaves feed numerous insects.

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Family: Chenopodiaceae

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Shrub/subshrub

Native Status: Native

Growth Form: Multiple stem

Mature Height: 3 ft.

Bloom Color: Yellow

Fruit/Seed Color: Brown

Bloom Period: Early Summer

Annual Precipitation: 4-12 in.

Drought Tolerance: High

Shade Tolerance: Intolerant

Elevation: 1,500-7,500 ft.

Wetland Indicator Status:

Fire Resistance: Yes

Fire Tolerance: Low

Nitrogen fixation: None


Coarse Texture: Yes

Medium Texture: Yes

Fine Texture: Yes

Salinity Tolerance: High

CaCO3 Tolerance: High

pH Range: 7.5-9.0


Seeds per Pound: 60,500

Seeding Rate:  PLS lbs/acre

Season: Fall

Days to Germination: