Gardners Saltbush

  • Scientific name: Atriplex gardneri
  • Persistent leaves are an important winter food source
  • Important for sheep
  • Withstands heavy winter grazing
  • Frequently used in badlands of the Intermountain West
  • Important species in reclamation and mining mixes

Quantity is per pound. Example: 1 = 1 lb, 2 = 2 lbs, 3 = 3lbs, etc. This is pure seed, not a live plant.

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Gardners saltbush (Atriplex gardneri) is a spreading, low-growing evergreen subshrub 8 to 20 inches tall. It is much-branched, with branches producing adventitious roots where they contact the soil. Trunk bark is light gray, smooth, and somewhat “shreddy”.

Found on plains, badlands, and in valleys, usually occupying sites that are harsh and arid with widely fluctuating temperatures and high winds. It is most common on saline, poorly developed, or clay soils with a pH of 7.8 to 8.6. Soils are typically low in available phosphorous, nitrogen, and potassium. Gardner saltbush also grows on sodic, silty, or sandy soils. It generally shares the same soils and ecotype as Fourwing Saltbrush, Shadscale Saltbrush and Mat Saltbrush.

Provides nutritious forage for livestock and wildlife species throughout its range. Antelope, mule deer, rabbits, and mourning doves browse Gardner saltbush. Its persistent leaves are an important winter food source. It is particularly important for sheep because it provides the minimum nutritional requirement for maintenance of gestating ewes. Although overgrazing may reduce plant vigor, winter grazing of up to 35 percent of total plant biomass allows for maintenance of Gardner saltbush populations.

Gardners Saltbush is an important species in reclamation seed mixes and if frequently used in the badlands of Utah, Wyoming, Colorado and Nevada in the mining industry.

For more options click here: Saltbush

*** Click on the “Quick Plant Facts” tab above for more information.

(Atriplex gardneri)

Gardner’s Saltbush NRCS Plant Guide

PDF version of USDA/NRCS Plant Guide & Fact Sheet

Citation: Majeski, M. and J. Scianna. 2021. USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Bridger Plant Materials Center. Bridger, MT.

Download PDF

Helpful Links

Additional information about this product can be found on the academic websites linked below.


Many plants have more than one common and scientific name. We've listed a few of them below.

  • Gardners Saltbush
  • Atriplex gardneri

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Quick Plant Facts
Common Name:

Gardner Saltbrush

Scientific Name:



Plant Type:


pH Tolerance:

Seeds per Pound:

Plant Height:

Min. Precipitation

6 Inches Minimum

Best Time to Sow:

Growth Season:

Sun & Shade Tolerance:

Full Sun

Elevation of Occurance:

Zone Map


Hardiness Zones:

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