Herbs & Plants

Atriplex argentea

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Botanical Name : Atriplex argentea
Family: Amaranthaceae
Subfamily: Chenopodioideae
Genus: Atriplex
Species: A. argentea
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Common Names: Silverscale saltbush and Silver orache, Stalked saltbush

Habitat :Atriplex argentea is native to western North America from southern Canada to northern Mexico, where it grows in many types of habitat, generally on saline soils.

Atriplex argentea is an annual herb producing branching stems which spread out low to the ground or reach erect to maximum heights approaching 80 centimeters. The leaves are triangular to roughly oval in shape and 1 to 4 centimeters long. The stems and leaves are coated in gray scales.


It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline and saline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though it should be possible to grow it as a spring-sown annual. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Succeeds in full sun in any well-drained but not too fertile soil. Most species in this genus tolerate saline and very alkaline soils.

Seed – sow April/May in situ. Germination is usually rapid.

Edible Uses:
Leaves – cooked, or boiled with other foods as a flavouring. The tender young leaves can be used as greens. Seed – cooked. It can be ground into a meal and used as a thickener in soups etc, or be mixed with flour when making bread etc. The immature seeds can be eaten together with their surrounding calyx.
Medicinal Uses:

Analgesic; Poultice; Stings; Stomachic.

The leaves have been used as a fumigant in the treatment of pain. A poultice of the leaves has been applied to spider bites. A cold infusion of the plant has been used to treat sickness caused by drinking bad water, and to purify the water. A poultice of the chewed roots has been applied to sores and rashes. An infusion of the root has been used in the treatment of stomach aches.

Other Uses:
A cold infusion of the plant has been used to purify water.

Known Hazards: No member of this genus contains any toxins, all have more or less edible leaves. However, if grown with artificial fertilizers, they may concentrate harmful amounts of nitrates in their leaves.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.