Other Names:Giant saltbush.
Summary:An erect, grey, scaly, bushy shrub, 1-3 m high and occasionally to 5 m wide with woody brittle branches.
First leaves:First leaf long and thin and different to subsequent leaves.
Stems:Brittle woody branches. Stems will form roots where they contact the ground.
Flower head:Paniculate at the ends of stems.
Flowers:Unisexual. Usually different sexes on different plants.
Fruit:Fruiting bodies 5-10 mm long, edges entire to wavy, almost round to somewhat fan shaped, nerved, stalkless (sessile). Bracteoles united only near the hardened base. The upper edge is toothed or smooth.
Seeds:Flattened, vertical. Contained between two flattened bracteoles.
Roots:Taproot. Deep robust root system.
Key Characters:Mostly dioecious, woody perennial shrub to 3 m tall. 2 transversely sub orbicular or broad-triangular fruiting bracteoles united only near the bases. Bracteoles obtuse, without appendages and sessile. Leaves broad.
Physiology:It tolerates extreme drought and shallow water logging for lengthy periods.
Reproduction:By seed and layering.
Flowering times:Mainly spring and early summer in NSW.
Seed Biology and Germination:Vegetative Propagules:
Hybrids:Several sub species.
Allelopathy:Population Dynamics and Dispersal:
Origin and History:Native to Australia.
Distribution:ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, SA, VIC, WA.
Soil:Found on many soil types but more common on clay, sandy loam and saline soils. Prefers flat low lying situations.
Plant Associations:Myall (Acacia pendula), Bladder saltbush (Atriplex vesicaria), Black box (Eucalyptus largiflorens).
Detrimental:Weed of crops.
Toxicity:Not recorded as toxic.
Management and Control:Heavy grazing and cultivation are about the only economic methods of management to reduce stands.
Herbicide resistance:None reported.
Biological Control:None likely as it is a native plant.
Related plants:There are 48 other species of Atriplex in WA.
Plants of similar appearance:Saltbushes.
References:Black, J.M. (1965). Flora of South Australia. (Government Printer, Adelaide, South Australia). P294. Diagram.