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Atriplex confertifolia

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About Shadscale (Atriplex confertifolia) Atriplex confertifolia (Shadscale) is a species of evergreen shrub in the Chenopodiaceae family, which is native to the western United States. Shadscale is a common, often dominant, shrub in the lowest and driest areas of the Great Basin. It prefers sandy, well-drained soils and it is tolerant of moderately saline conditions. Its height varies from 1 to 3 feet. Compared to fourwing saltbush, shadscale has shorter and wider leaves and the fruit does not have four wings (although it may have two wings in a "V" shape).
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
1 - 3.3 ft (0.3 - 1 m)


Growth Rate


Flower Color
Yellow, Cream

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Alkaline flats, gravelly slopes

Sun, Part Shade

Elevation ?
-70' - 9319'

Annual Precip. ?
2.1" - 68.1"

Summer Precip. ?
0.14" - 4.24"

Coldest Month ?
25.2° F - 60.8° F

Hottest Month ?
48.8° F - 89.5° F

Humidity ?
1.29 vpd - 47.83 vpd

Soil Description
Adaptable, tolerant of sand, loam and clay


Landscaping Information
Water Requirement ?
Very Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: Fresh seeds need dry storage for about 6 mos.; stored seeds, no treatment. (USDA Forest Service 1974). 2 wks. stratification may improve germination (Stidham et al. 1980).

Common uses
Bird Gardens

Other Names
Common Names
Shadscale Saltbush

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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