Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (785 K bytes)

Title: Fourwing saltbush (Atriplex canescens) seed transfer zones

Author: Sanderson, Stewart C.; McArthur, Durant E.;

Date: 2004

Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-125. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 10 p.

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

Description: Atriplex canescens (Pursh.) Nutt. is the most widespread species of perennial Atriplex in North America. Throughout its distributional range, A. canescens shows considerable between-population variation. Some of this variation may be due to phenotypic plasticity but most of it appears to be genetic. Mutations, polyploidy, introgressive hybridization, and segregation from interspecific hybrids all appear to have contributed to its extensive heritable variation. Polyploidy is unusually common with numerous chromosome races (2x, 4x, 6x, 8x, 10x, 12x, 14x, 20x).

Fourwing saltbush is widely used for reclamation plantings. Proper identification is important to the utilization of fourwing saltbush in such plantings. While many of the races have been formally named as varieties, others have not. Even though differentiated by ploidy, chemical constituents, geographic distribution, and statistical distribution of morphological characters, races may lack sufficient diagnostic characters to allow facile identification, at least in the herbarium. Rather than combining unnamed races under those that do have a taxonomic name, it seems better at present not to use the formal infraspecific categories in treating the fourwing saltbushes, but to consider them all as races. Seed transfer should be within the geographical distribution limits of each race. The most common race, by far, is Occidentalis. We recommend four overlapping seed transfer zones for race Occidentalis in the United States: (1) Northern Intermountain, (2) Western Great Plains, (3) Colorado Plateau/Great Basin/Columbia Basin, and (4) Southwestern. Source seed populations from near the planting sites generally do well; and populations generally perform better when moved south and/or to lower elevations than when moved north and/or up in elevation.

Keywords: Atriplex canescens (Pursh.) Nutt., fourwing saltbush

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication. (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)



Sanderson, Stewart C., and McArthur, E. Durant 2004. Fourwing saltbush (Atriplex canescens) seed transfer zones. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-125. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 10 p.


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.