Vascular Plants of the Gila Wilderness

Presented in Association with the
Western New Mexico University Department of Natural Sciences

Atriplex canescens (Pursh) Nuttall
(Four-wing Salt Bush)

Family: Chenopodiaceae

Status: Native

Synonyms:
Atriplex angustior Cockerell
Atriplex canescens (Pursh) Nuttall var. angustifolia (Torrey) S. Watson

Atriplex canescens grows at lower to middle elevations in the Gila National Forest. It grows as a shrub with grayish foliage. The leaves are linear-oblong. Plants are either staminate or pistillate. Staminate plants have dense clusters of flowers. Female flowers produce an easily recognizable four winged fruit. Both pistillate and staminate leaves are silvery (canescent) on both surfaces, but the leaves of the staminate plant are somewhat smaller at least in the winter. The silvery appearance of the leaves is not due to hairs, but rather due to a covering of flaky scale-like structures, almost like dandruff.
Please click on an image for a larger file.



Atriplex canescens (staminate plant), photo Russ Kleinman, Burro Mtns., along NM90, May 9, 2007



Atriplex canescens, pistillate plant with fruit, photo Russ Kleinman, Burro Mtns., along NM90, Sept. 25, 2007



Atriplex canescens, pistillate plant loaded with fruit, photo Russ Kleinman, Silver City along Hwy 90, January 16, 2010



Atriplex canescens, staminate plant in winter, photo Russ Kleinman, Silver City along Hwy 90, January 16, 2010



Atriplex canescens, closeup of fruit, photo Russ Kleinman, Silver City along Hwy 90, January 16, 2010



Atriplex canescens, closeup of adaxial (top) leaf surface, photo Russ Kleinman, Silver City along Hwy 90, January 16, 2010



Atriplex canescens, closeup of abaxial (lower) leaf surface, photo Russ Kleinman, Silver City along Hwy 90, January 16, 2010



Atriplex canescens, macro of abaxial (lower) leaf surface, photo Russ Kleinman, Silver City along Hwy 90, January 16, 2010


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