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Atriplex semibaccata - R. Br.

Common Name Australian Saltbush. Australian saltbush, Creeping saltbush
Family Amaranthaceae
USDA hardiness 9-11
Known Hazards None Known
Habitats Naturalized in southwest N. America, growing in saline waste places, along roads and sidewalks, in marshes, in various plant communities; at elevations from 10 - 1,000 metres[270]. It grows best in coastal, light, well-drained soils. It suits an open sunny position. It is resistant to drought and frost.
Range Australia - Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Northern Territories
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Tender Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Atriplex semibaccata Australian Saltbush. Australian saltbush, Creeping saltbush

Forest & Kim Starr wikimedia.org
Atriplex semibaccata Australian Saltbush. Australian saltbush, Creeping saltbush
Forest & Kim Starr wikimedia.org


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Atriplex semibaccata is an evergreen Shrub growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 1.5 m (5ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. The flowers are pollinated by Wind. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid and saline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Atriplex denticulata Moq. Atriplex flagellaris Wooton & Standl. Atriplex neurivalvis Domin. Atriplex semibracteata Steud. Atriplex stuckertii Gand.


Edible Uses

Edible Portion: Fruit, Leaves. Fruit - raw[1093]. The fruit are eaten as a snack. They are added to salads. The young leaves are eaten raw or steamed. They are often boiled to remove excess salt.

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known

Other Uses

High tolerance to salt, with a record of 15 Max dS/m; an excellent coloniser of salt scalds. Evergreen groundcover. In saltland pasture, it can provide supplement feed in summer and winter when other sources of paddock feed are less available. Carbon Farming - Fodder: bank.

Cultivation details

Fodder: Bank  Management: Coppice  Management: Fodder  Minor Global Crop

Atriplex semibaccata is a plant of sub-tropical arid and semi-arid areas and appears to grow well also in Mediterranean winter rainfall areas. It can also tolerate warm temperate areas with rain all year round. It is most common in areas where the mean annual rainfall is within the range 250 - 900mm[1093 ]. It grows best in areas where the mean annual temperature is within the range 10 - 23°c, with the mean temperatures in the hottest month ranging from 27 - 36°c and in the coldest month from 0 - 10°c. It can tolerate an absolute minimum of -5°c[1093 ]. Grows best in a sunny position, though able to tolerate some shade in hot, sunny climates[1093 ]. The plant appears to grow in many soil types though preferring light and more acidic soils. However, this includes heavier clay loams and even those than are occasionally waterlogged, but are more generally light to medium clay loams (35-50% clay) or loams, sandy loams, or sandy clay loams[1093 ]. Tolerant of strong, salt-laden winds[1093 ]. A deep-rooted plant, it is a very drought-tolerant species[1093 ]. This species photosynthesizes by a more efficient method than most plants. Called the 'C4 carbon-fixation pathway', this process is particularly efficient at high temperatures, in bright sunlight and under dry conditions[1093 ]. In New South Wales, Australia the plant was found to become dormant in winter whereas other Atriplex species remained green, though all species studied showed good adaptation notwithstanding the low and variable rainfall, wide range in temperature, humidity and evaporation and poor soils[1093 ]. Climate: warm temperate to tropical. Humidity: arid to semi-arid. Carbon Farming - Cultivation: minor global crop. Management: coppice, fodder.

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It can be grown by seed or cuttings. Seed - sow mid spring in a cold frame in a compost of peat and sand. The seed usually germinates in 1 - 3 weeks at 13°c[134 ]. Pot up the seedlings when still small into individual pots, grow on in a greenhouse for the first winter and plant out in late spring or early summer after the last expected frosts. The plant produces large numbers of fruits and seed and like many other species of the genus, does not appear to exhibit any characteristics of dormancy, with high germination rates with no pre-treatment recorded[1093 ]. The seed germinates best at 21°c, while germination ratesmay be improved by soaking the seeds for several hours to dilute and flush chemicals that inhibit germination[1093 ]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, mid summer in a frame. 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[K ]. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season's growth, late autumn in a frame. Very easy. Pot up in early spring and plant out in their permanent position in early summer[K ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Cachiyuyo, Morenita rastrera.

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Argentina, Australia*, Chile, Hawaii, Mexico, North America, Pacific, South America, Tasmania, USA.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Atriplex argenteaSilvery Orach, Silverscale saltbush, Stalked saltbush22
Atriplex argentea expansaSilverscale Saltbush20
Atriplex californicaCalifornia Orach, California saltbush30
Atriplex canescensGrey Sage Brush, Fourwing saltbush41
Atriplex carnosaThickleaf Orach20
Atriplex confertifoliaShadscale, Shadscale saltbush41
Atriplex coronataCrownscale20
Atriplex dimorphostegia 20
Atriplex elegansWheelscale Saltbush20
Atriplex glabriusculaScotland orache, Maritime saltbush, Frankton's saltbush, Northeastern saltbush20
Atriplex gmeliniiGmelin's saltbush20
Atriplex halimusSea Orach, Saltbush51
Atriplex hastataHastate Orach30
Atriplex hortensisOrach, Garden orache42
Atriplex lapathifolia 30
Atriplex lentiformisQuail Bush, Big saltbush, Quailbush,31
Atriplex maximowiczianaMaximowicz's saltbush20
Atriplex mucronata 20
Atriplex nummulariaGiant Saltbush, Bluegreen saltbush30
Atriplex nuttalliiNuttall's Saltbush40
Atriplex patulaSpreading Orach, Spear saltbush31
Atriplex powelliiPowell's Saltweed20
Atriplex saccariaSack Saltbush20
Atriplex serenanaBractscale, Davidson's bractscale20
Atriplex subcordata 20
Atriplex tataricaTatarian orache20
Atriplex truncataWedgescale Saltbush20


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Expert comment


R. Br.

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A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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