Atriplex nummularia

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Atriplex nummularia
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Amaranthaceae
Subfamily: Chenopodioideae
Genus: Atriplex
Species: A. nummularia
Binomial name
Atriplex nummularia
Lindl.
Synonyms

Atriplex johnstonii

Atriplex nummularia is a species of saltbush known by the common names old man saltbush, bluegreen saltbush, and giant saltbush. It is native to Australia, occurring in Western Australia, South Australia, the Northern Territory, Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland.[1] It has been exported to other areas of the globe for various uses and was introduced to parts of the American desert southwest and northern Mexico, possibly for use as a soil stabilizer.[2] Domestic grazing animals will eat the sturdy shrub, which is adapted to arid environments with saline soils, so it is used as an animal forage in such habitats.[3] It is widely used as a forage crop in Tunisia[4] and Namibia.[5] The plant is generally palatable to grazing animals, but the palatability can be limited by the concentration of salt in the plant tissues as the plant takes in water from saline soils.[3][4]

A. nummularia is a grayish-white shrub growing to heights between 1.5 and 3 meters. The erect to spreading stems and twigs are scaly and striated. The thick leaves are oval to triangular, wavy and sometimes with dull teeth, and up to 6 or 7 centimeters long. The plant may be monoecious or dioecious. The male flowers are held in clusters or long spikes up to 20 centimeters long. The female flowers are held in the leaf axils or in terminal inflorescences, or sometimes are interspersed among the male clusters.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Atriplex nummularia". PlantNET - New South Wales Flora Online. Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust, Sydney Australia. Retrieved 2008-12-12. 
  2. ^ Flora of North America
  3. ^ a b Aganga, A. A., et al. (2003). Atriplex nummularia (old man saltbush): A potential forage crop for arid regions of Botswana. Pakistan Journal of Nutrition 2:2 72-5.
  4. ^ a b FAO Animal Feed Resources
  5. ^ Rothauge, Axel (25 February 2014). "Staying afloat during a drought". The Namibian. 

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