Plants of
South Australia
Atriplex paludosa ssp. paludosa
Marsh Saltbush
Display all 10 images
Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Critically endangered
Data deficient
Coober Pedy
Mount Gambier
Enlarge Map
Copy Map
Copy Map
Display IBRA region text

Prior names

Atriplex paludosa

Atriplex paludosa var. paludosa

Common names

Marsh Saltbush


Atriplex from the Latin 'atriplexum' meaning an orache, a saltbush; an Ancient Latin name for this plant. Paludosa from the Latin 'paludosus' meaning marshy, referring to the type species growing on fringes of coastal and near-coastal saltmarshes.

Distribution and status

Found along the coasts of Adelaide and the Coorong in South Australia, growing on fringes of coastal and near-coastal saltmarshes. Also found in Victoria and Tasmania. Native. Rare in South Australia. Rare in Western Australia.
Herbarium regions: Southern Lofty, South Eastern, Green Adelaide
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Decumbent shrub to 3 m diameter. Leaves narrow-elliptic, acute, entire, glabrous above and white scaly below with leaf blade to 30 mm long and 8 mm wide. Male flowers in dense distinct or continuous globose clusters; female flowers few in upper axils or clusters along terminal leafless spikes. This subspecies differs from the other subspecies found in South Australia by being decumbent with leaves that are glabrous above, compared to Atriplex paluoda ssp. cordata which is an erect shrub with leaves that are scaly all over. Flowering throughout the year. Fruiting bracteoles sessile, fused and often slightly fleshy near base, green or somewhat mealy, triangular or broadly ovate, truncate or slightly cordate at base, entire or with a few teeth above midway, to 10 mm long and wide, dorsal appendages absent. Seed embryo type is peripheral.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between January and December. Collect fruits that are starting to dry or and turn brown. Fruits can be collected directly from the bush or from the ground underneath Place the fruits in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. No cleaning is required if only the fruits are collected. The seed can be stored in the fruit or can be cleaned further. Rub the fruit gently by hand to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the unwanted material. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place.