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Atriplex hymenelytra

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About Desert Holly (Atriplex hymenelytra) Atriplex hymenelytra is a species of saltbush known by the common name desert holly. This is a desert-dwelling shrub reaching heights of between one half and one meter. It is generally a rounded bush covered in distinctive silver-gray, twisted, oblong, many-pointed leaves. The fruits are enclosed in disc-shaped leafeoles after flowering. The toothed leaves and the small reddish fruits borne on the plant give it a passing resemblance to the unrelated European holly. Desert holly is native to the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
1.6 - 3.3 ft (0.49 - 1 m)

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Slopes, washes,


Elevation ?
-280' - 7529'

Annual Precip. ?
1.9" - 11.6"

Summer Precip. ?
0.19" - 1.76"

Coldest Month ?
34.6° F - 62.8° F

Hottest Month ?
60.0° F - 91.0° F

Humidity ?
3.61 vpd - 49.17 vpd

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: Stored seeds, no treatment.

Common uses
Bird Gardens

Other Names
Common Names

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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