Atriplex canescens

Four Wing Salt Bush

Plant Type: Perennial
Sun: Sun
Drainage: Adaptable
Water: Naturalize, Occasional
Height X Width: 5' X 5'
Santa Clara County Local: No
What do these mean?



Four Wing Salt Bush is quite widespread in western North America from Canada into Mexico. In California it grows in various plant communities from the Transverse Ranges south and east, including the immediate coast and the interior deserts. It also thrives in the narrow portions of eastern California included in the Great Basin. It prefers areas of salt or drought stress, or both. It has done quite well in a dry sunny site in Santa Clara County. Four wing salt bush grows as a rounded mass of silvery, linear leaves to a height of four feet or so. The flowers are yellow but easily missed. The plants can be either male or female, though this is not determined genetically so the gender may vary from year to year, depending on growing conditions. A plant with female flowers will produce prominent clusters of tan seeds with protruding membranes that explain the plant’s common name. Like other salt bush, this plant supports a wide range of insects, and provides a protective thicket for birds. Four wing salt bush must be left alone after it is established in the landscape. Supplemental summer water may kill it. Plant with other dry-loving shrubs, such as ceanothus. The silver foliage of saltbush will display well with the darker leaves of ceanothus.


Deer Resistant: Yes
Attractive to Bees: Yes
Attractive to Butterflies: Yes
Good Under Oaks: No
Evergreen or Deciduous: Evergreen