Plant family: Chenopodiaceae - Goosefoot
Plant type: Shrub, Sub-shrub
Plant origin: N/A, California
Alkali Sink, Coastal Sage Scrub
Clay, Decomposed Granite, Sand, Adaptable, Alkaline, Salt
Attracts Wildlife, Edible , Important to Native People, Salt Tolerant, Slope Stabilizer, Tolerant of Clay Soil, Tolerates Hard Frost
A large evergreen shrub to 8 ft., native in coastal Ca. to 100 miles inland. It is very alkali tolerant and a great plant for wind breaks, borders, and range management. Quail Brush will survive on 5-10 inches of rainfall in full sun and poor soil. All of the plant is edible, young shoots suitable for greens. Indians used for salty taste. Quail and other birds use seeds for food, foliage for habitat. They will defoliate under extreme drought but the salt they accumulate in their leaves allows them to extract water from the soil other plants cannot. They need to be under some form of water stress, either drought, salt, or salt spray. The Atriplex species tolerate and remove the excess salts by bladders in their leaves that act as salt sinks, keeping the salt from the plant cells. Quail Brush has a smell that is not considered attractive. This saltbush species and Atriplex canescens are the food plants for the saltbush sootywing Hesperopsis alpheus, a butterfly. This plant is used to revegetate sage scrub habitat.
Please share your thoughts with us about this plant. We would like to hear about
the good things and the problems. We also would appreciate seeing any photos and
have you rate this plant. To leave comments or to rate a plant you must be registered.