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Four-wing Saltbush, Four-winged Saltbush, Chamiza, Bushy Atriplex, Fourwing Shadscale, Wing-scale, Shad-scale
Atriplex canescens


Four-wing saltbush is a vigorous, densely branching shrub with silvery, gray-green leaves. It has insignificant flower spikes on separate male and female plants, but females produce distinctive, 4-winged fruit. It is common in the Trans-Pecos, growing on saline or alkaline flats, slopes and grasslands. Its range extends from Canada to Mexico. Four-winged saltbush is extremely salt tolerant and adapts to a wide range of soils. It is also extremely drought tolerant, and if over-watered can become rangy and invasive; however, with controlled watering it can be used as a fast-growing hedge or barrier. Its dense roots (20 to 40 feet deep) also make it useful in erosion control. The fruit is very attractive to wildlife, and the foliage is nutritious to cattle, sheep and goats, providing valuable forage, especially in saline areas.

Plant Habit or Use: small shrub

Exposure: sun

Flower Color: yellow - green, inconspicuous

Blooming Period: spring

Fruit Characteristics: capsule enclosed in 4 papery wings

Height: 1 to 6 feet

Width: 2 to 8 feet

Plant Character: evergreen

Heat Tolerance: very high

Water Requirements:

Soil Requirements: alkaline

USDA Hardiness Zone: 3

Additional Comments:

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