Atriplex confertifolia

Latin Name: Atriplex confertifolia
Common Name: Shadscale
Mature Height (ft): 1-3'
Mature Width: 1-3'

Mature Shape

Rounded sub-shrub
Mulch: Inorganic

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Shadscale lives in alkaline caliche soil in most of its native range throughout the Southwest and has a high tolerance of saline or sodic soils. Given improved soil conditions, it will grow larger. Do not improve the soil to insure it keeps its neat, compact shape. Shadscale blooms yellow flowers in early summer which mature into seed heads. Its silver-gray leaves are semi-evergreen.

Use in Garden

The silver/gray of shadscale is paired nicely with Engelman's daisy or other vibrant yellow bloomers. It will show up well against either Arixona rosewood, Vauquelinia californica or the Chisos rosewood, V. corymbosa angustifolia, both of which are cold hardy and evergreen. Engulf the shadscale with a scattering of buffalo rose, Calliroe involucrata.


Prune out any dead wood, or to keep compact shape. It will stay compact unless overwatered and over fed.