Four-Wing Saltbush

Genus Atriplex
Goosefoot Family (Chenopodiaceae)

Four-Wing Saltbush

Four-Wing Saltbush
Atriplex canescens

Male and female flowers grow on separate plants in this species. Sometimes a plant will bear female flowers one year, and male flowers the next year. A female plant is shown in the photo, covered with winged fruits. Each fruit contains one seed, surrounded by four membranous wings which form from the flower bracts as the fruit matures.

The seeds of this plant are very nutritious. Native Americans used them for food. The whole plant is good forage for livestock.

Government Creek Cove
Boulder Mountain
Wayne County, Utah


by Sandra Bray