Herb: Nuttall's Saltbush

Latin name: Atriplex nuttallii

Synonyms: Atriplex gardneri aptera

Family: Chenopodiaceae (Goosefoot Family)

Edible parts of Nuttall's Saltbush:

Leaves and stems - cooked. It is usually cooked with wheat. The leaves and stems can be used to add a salty flavour to other cooked foods. Seed - cooked. Used in piäole or ground into a meal and used as a thickener in making bread or mixed with flour in making bread.

Description of the plant:


90 cm
(2 feet)

July to

Habitat of the herb:

Strongly saline and dry soils.

Propagation of Nuttall's Saltbush:

Seed - sow April/May in a cold frame in a compost of peat and sand. The seed usually germinates in 1 - 3 weeks at 13°C. Pot up the seedlings when still small into individual pots, grow on in a greenhouse for the first winter and plant out in late spring or early summer after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Very easy. Pot up as soon as they start to root (about 3 weeks) and plant out in their permanent positions late in the following spring. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season's growth, November/December in a frame. Very easy. Pot up in early spring and plant out in their permanent position in early summer.

Cultivation of the herb:

Strongly saline and dry soils.

Medicinal use of Nuttall's Saltbush:

None known

Known hazards of Atriplex nuttallii:

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.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.