Rare Plant List
County List
Agency Status
Photo List
About the List
History of Changes
Species Considered, but dropped
Photographers, Illustrators and Authors
Image Usage Guidelines
Discussion Group
Useful Literature

Atriplex griffithsii
(Griffith's saltbush)

[taxon report][distribution map][all photos][line drawing]

Family: Chenopodiaceae

Scientific Name: Atriplex griffithsii Standley

Synonyms: Atriplex lentiformis (Torrey) S. Watson ssp. griffithsii (Standley) Hall & Clements; A. lentiformis var. griffithsii (Standley) L. Benson; A. torreyi S. Watson var. griffithsii (Standley) Brown

Vernacular Name: Griffith's saltbush

R-E-D Code: 1-2-2

Description: Gray-green shrub to 1 m tall, much-branched; leaves short-petiolate or sessile, elliptic-ovate to narrowly oblong, about 1-2 cm long, grayish with a fine scurf; plants unisexual, the flowers in small clusters in more or less profuse terminal panicles; staminate perianth 4- or 5-cleft, minute; pistillate flowers without perianth; fruiting bracts broadly heart-shaped, flat or convex on sides, united at base, 4-5 mm long, 4-6 mm wide. Flowers August and September.

Similar Species: The common four-wing saltbush, A. canescens, is the only other large shrubby saltbush in the area. Its fruiting bracts have four well-developed wings.

Distribution: New Mexico, Luna and Hidalgo counties; southeastern Arizona, Cochise County.

Habitat: Saline playa margins where plants are not submerged for long periods of time.

Remarks: This shrub is common on playa margins within its area of geographic distribution, acting as a seral species in disturbed areas. It is not known whether the species is present in similar habitats in adjacent Mexico. The species was not treated in Martin and Hutchin's, A Flora of New Mexico.

Conservation Considerations: Many Atriplex provide excellent forage in arid lands. There is no information as to the forage value of this species or how it responds to intensive browsing.

Important Literature (*Illustration):

*New Mexico Native Plants Protection Advisory Committee. 1984. A handbook of rare and endemic plants of New Mexico. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.

*Carter, J.L. 1997. Trees and shrubs of New Mexico. Mimbres Publishing Co., Silver City, New Mexico.

*Wagner, W.L. and E.F. Aldan. 1978. Manual of the saltbushes (Atriplex spp.) in New Mexico. General Technical Report RM-57. USDA-Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Fort Collins, Colorado.

Information Compiled By: Richard Spellenberg, 1999

Agency Status:
Taxon USFWS State of NM USFS BLM Navajo Nation Natural Heritage NM Global Rank
Atriplex griffithsiiAtriplex griffithsii...S2

Photo credits in header Peniocereus greggii var. greggii © T. Todsen,
Lepidospartum burgessii © M. Howard, Argemone pleiacantha ssp. pinnatisecta © R. Sivinski
©2005 New Mexico Rare Plant Technical Council