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Alkali Heath
Frankenia salina
About Alkali Heath (Frankenia salina) Nurseries Show All Photos The perennial herb Frankenia salina, often called Alkali Heath or Alkali Seaheath, is a member of the Frankeniaceae family that is native to California. It is occasionally found in Nevada and Mexico. In California it is found along the coast, in the mountain, central valley, and other wetland locations, including salt marsh and alkali flats. Its common name refers to its preference for saline or alkaline soils. It is a squat flowering bush that forms a twiggy thicket near beaches and estuaries. The leaves are tiny and somewhat succulent. It has the ability to excrete salt as an adaptation for living in saline habitats. The flowers are white, pink or fuchsia in color. It spreads by rhizome and can cover large areas but remains very low. It is not a common garden plant but can be a useful ground cover at the edges of ponds or streams, in bioswales, or in areas of saline soil.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
1 ft (0.3 m)


Growth Rate

Summer Semi-Deciduous

Flower Color
Pink, White

Flowering Season
Spring, Summer, Fall

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Salt marshes, alkali flats


Elevation ?
-59' - 6109'

Annual Precip. ?
3.2" - 47.0"

Summer Precip. ?
0.12" - 1.53"

Coldest Month ?
37.5° F - 59.7° F

Hottest Month ?
58.1° F - 88.0° F

Humidity ?
0.01 vpd - 43.78 vpd

Soil Description
Prefers sand or sandstone

Soil PH
6.0 - 9.0

Fast, Medium, Slow, Standing

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 25° F

Sunset Zones ?
8*, 10, 11*, 12, 13, 14*, 15, 16*, 17*, 18*, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Companion Plants
Use with other wetland plants such as Salt Grass (Distichlis spicata), Yellow Monkeyflower (Mimulus guttatus), Sedge (Carex sp.), Rush (Juncus sp.), Willow (Salix sp.), and Alkali Weed (Cressa truxillensis)

Butterflies ?

Agdistis americana Image
Agdistis americanaAgdistis americana

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

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

Seldom Used

Max. Summer Water ?
Keep moist
No Summer Water
Keep moist


Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: No treatment. (Emery and Frey 1971).

Common uses

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Botanical Names
Frankenia grandiflora

Common Names
Alkali Seaheath, Alkali-heath, Yerba Reuma

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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