Theodore Payne California Native Plant Database




Atriplex polycarpa

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Atriplex polycarpa
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Atriplex polycarpa
Atriplex polycarpa
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Atriplex polycarpa

Botanical Name: Atriplex polycarpa
Common Name: Cattle spinach or Alkali Saltbush

A favorite of desert tortoises. Great for habitat gardens. Easy and completely drought tolerant once established.

Plant Family: Chenopodiaceae
Plant Type: Shrub
Height by Width: 6' H x 6' W
Growth Habit: Shrub
Deciduous/Evergreen: Evergreen
Growth Rate: Moderate
Sun Exposure: Full sun
Soil Preference: Adaptable
Water Requirements: Drought-tolerant to occasional
Cold Hardy to: 4500'
Flower Season: Summer/Fall
Flower Color: Grey-green
Endangered?: Not Listed
Distribution: San Joaquin Valley, east of Sierra Nevada, Deserts
Natural Habitat: Alkaline flats, dry lakes. Elevation: below 4500'."

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History
  • Introduced into cultivation in California by Theodore Payne.
  • From California Native Plants, Theodore Payne's 1941 catalog: Dense growing shrub, 2 to 3 1/2 feet high, with rather slender, rigid branches, and many somewhat spiny branchlets. Leaves small, silvery gray. Desirable where a gray note is wanted. Gallon cans, 40c."
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