Nuttall's Saltbush
Atriplex nuttallii  S. Watson.

Nuttall's saltbush is a native, spreading, low-growing, evergreen, perennial sub-shrub. It grows from 8 to 20 inches in height and has alternate leaves 1/2  to 2+ inches long. Herbaceous flowering stems rise above the woody, decumbent portion of the plant  Saltbush has alternate, linear-oblong, stalkless leaves. Leaves are 1 to 2 inches and 6 times as long as they are wide. Leaves are green-gray and scruffy. Flowers are small in small auxiliary clusters with fruiting brackets. Requires a light or medium well-drained but not too fertile soil in a sunny position. Tolerates saline and very alkaline soil. Succeeds in a hot dry position. Male and female flowers are usually on separate plants.  

Food Uses:
Leaves and stems are cooked, usually cooked with wheat. The leaves and stems can be used to add a salty flavor to other cooked foods.  Seed are also cooked to be used in piņole or ground into a meal and used as a thickener in making bread or mixed with flour in making bread.

Value to Animals:
Like other saltbushes, it is a valuable browse species, providing a source of palatable, nutritious forage for a wide variety of wildlife. The fruits and leaves are a food source for deer,, desert bighorn sheep, pronghorn, small rodents, jackrabbits, game birds, and songbirds. Areas of saltbush provide cover and forage for black-tailed jackrabbits.

Planting: Plan to obtain cuttings of half-ripe wood in a July/August. Very easy. Pot up as soon as they start to root (about 3 weeks) and plant out in their permanent positions late in the following spring. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season's growth should be in the November/December time frame. Very easy. Pot up in early spring and plant out in their permanent position in early summer.

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