Plants of
South Australia
Atriplex semibaccata
Creeping Saltbush,
Berry Saltbush
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Critically endangered
Data deficient
Coober Pedy
Mount Gambier
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 3

Common names

Creeping Saltbush

Berry Saltbush


Atriplex from the Latin 'atriplexum' meaning an orach, a saltbush; an Ancient Latin name for this plant. Semibaccata from the Latin 'semi' meaning half and 'baccate' meaning berry-like in form, texure or bearing berries, alluding to the round, red berry-like fruit.

Distribution and status

A widespread species found throughout most of South Australia except for the very arid regions, usually on heavy soils, in woodland, saline flats and the edges of salt lakes. Also found in Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in other states.
Herbarium regions: Lake Eyre, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, South Eastern, Green Adelaide
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Prostrate or decumbent perennial trailing plant with slender spreading branches. Leaves narrow-elliptic to elliptic to 30mm long, almost glabrous above, scaly beneath. Male and female flowers on the same plant, (monoecious). Flowers axillary, solitary or in small clusters; cream to light green. Flowering all year. Fruits are fruit rhombic to 6mm long, acute, red and succulent when ripe. Seeds are shiny smooth, yellow-brown and dark-brown, circular reniform seed to 2mm diameter. Seed embryo type is peripheral.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between December and February. Collect fruits that are red, dried and papery. 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 clean 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.

Germination table: