Coast Saltbush, Grey Saltbush (Atriplex cinerea)

Male Coast Saltbush flowers
Male Coast Saltbush flowers

Common names: Coast Saltbush, Gray Saltbush

Taxonomic name: Atriplex cinerea

Family:  Amaranthaceae

Habitat: Sandy beaches, dunes, sheltered coastal areas

Form: Bush to 1 metre

Flowering time: Winter to early Summer


Description

Coast Saltbush (Atriplex cinerea) is a saltbush that’s only found on the coast. It likes to grow near the high tide mark. It’s about the only saltbush that likes this position.

The interesting thing about this saltbush is that its male and female flowers are very different. The male are in clusters along the end of stems. They are a yellow – cream colour, drying to brown. Female flowers are yellow green single and are located along the stem. Fruit are green, diamond shaped with a central bump.

Coast Saltbush is a spreading shrub, up to 1 metre high, with leaves that have a white powdery look due to small, shiny patches.

Coast Saltbush fruit
Coast Saltbush fruit.
Small, shiny patches on the leaves are a distinguishing feature of Coast Saltbush
Small, shiny patches on the leaves are a distinguishing feature of Coast Saltbush

Uses

Coast Saltbush is my favourite saltbush for salads and snacks. The leaves are crisp and a touch salty – I love the salty tang of it raw in salads. I reckon it’s the best Saltbush!