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Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)
Shrubs Around Las Vegas, Vegetation Around Las Vegas
Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)

General: Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens) is a rounded shrub with long, narrow gray-green, glandular leaves that are densely white-scaly. The leaves are also folded down the center. Plants are male or female (dioecious). Female plants in fruit are easy to recognize because the fruit has four large scales (the wings).

Fourwing Saltbush is a fairly common or dominant component of shrub communities on alkaline and saline soils around desert playas and on desert flats in the Upper Sonoran (Mojave Desert Scrub) life zone. Fourwing Saltbush is also a fairly common in shrub communities on desert bajadas.

Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)

Family: Goosefoot (Chenopodiaceae).

Other Names: Shad-scale, Shadscale

Plant Form: Rounded shrub.

Height: To about 6-feet high.

Bark: Silver gray.

Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)

Stems: Erect; many branches, ascending and spreading.

Leaves: 1/3 to 2 inches long, narrow; white-scaly with bead-like hairs; alternate; groove down the center; somewhat fleshy.

Flowers: Pistillate inflorescence terminal, spike-like; individual flowers small and inconspicuous.

Seeds: 1.5 to 2.5 mm, enclosed in two papery bracts that grow at right angles and form a somewhat spherical structure around the seed.

Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)

Habitat: Dry, poorly to well-drained sandy, gravelly, alkaline, and saline soils on flats and bajadas.

Elevation: below about 8,000 feet.

Distribution: Western U.S.

Comments:

Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens) Unripe seeds on a female plant.
Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens) Dry seeds (ripe) on a female plant.
Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens) Flowers on male plant.
Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)
Female plant in fruit
Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)
Female plant in fruit
Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)
Female plant in fruit
Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)
Female plant in fruit
Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)
Female plant in fruit
Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)
Female plant in fruit
Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)
Female plant in fruit
Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)
Female plant in fruit
Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)
Female plant in fruit
Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)
Male plant with flowers
Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)
Male plant with flowers
Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)
Male plant with flowers
Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)
Male plant with flowers
Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)
Male plant with flowers
Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)
Male plant with flowers
Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)
Male plant with flowers
Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)
Leaves
Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)
Male plant with female plant in the background
Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)
Female plant with ripening fruits
Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)
Female plant with ripening fruits
Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)
Female plant with ripening fruits
Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)
Female plant with ripening fruits
Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)
Female
Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)
Female
Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)
Male
Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)
Male flowers
Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)
Male flowers
Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)
Male flowers
Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)
Male flowers
Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)
Male flowers
Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)
Male plant
Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)
Male plant
Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)
Male flowers
Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)
Male flowers
Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)
Male flowers

Male flowers
Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)
Male flowers
Male flowers
Male plant
Male flowers
Male flowers
Male flowers
Male flowers
Male flowers
Male flowers
Male flowers
Male flowers

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate. Names generally follow the USDA database.
© 2014 Jim Boone; Last updated 101028

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