Plants of
South Australia
Atriplex lindleyi ssp. lindleyi
Flat-top 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 painting: 1.


Atriplex from the Latin 'atriplexum' meaning an orach, a saltbush; an Ancient Latin name for this plant. Lindleyi named after John Lindley (1799-1865), a British professor of botany and author on Western Australian plants.

Distribution and status

Found scattered across the eastern part of South Australia from north of the Murray. Also found in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in other states.
Herbarium regions: Lake Eyre, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Annual or short-lived perennial shrub to 30cm high. Leaves oblanceolate to narrow-obvate with a sharp apex and margin either straight or slightly toothed. Male and female flowers on the same plant. Male flowers in small glomerules towards the branch tips. Female flowers in scattered axillary clusters. Fruits are pale-brown papery fruit with two curved wings on either side of a compressed central part. Seeds are dark-brown, smooth, reniform seed to 2mm long and 1.5mm wide. Seed embryo type is peripheral.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between November and December. Collect fruits that are starting to turn pale-brown, drying off 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. From one collection, the seed viability was high, at 75%.