Silver saltbush (Atriplex bunburyana) in the Western Australian rangelands

Page last updated: Wednesday, 14 July 2021 - 8:30am

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Silver saltbush (Atriplex bunburyana) is one of many plant species found in the Western Australian rangelands.

This page provides a summary of the plant's value for pastoralism. Pastoral lessees and station managers can use this information to assess pasture condition and trend.

Indicator value

When silver saltbush is present as vigorous plants over a range of ages and sizes, it is an indicator of good pasture condition. The plant is a decreaser under heavy grazing.

Forage value

Silver saltbush is palatable and is eaten at all stages of growth if fresh water is available. 


Drainage lines, floodplains, sand dunes, basaltic hillslopes

General description

Silver saltbush is an open, many-branched shrub growing to about 1.5m. The branches are rigid and slender. The leaves are about 10mm long and are generally elliptical with a smooth outline. They have a thin, bluish, scaly covering.

There are separate male and female plants. The male flowers occur in small, globular clusters. The female flowers occur in clusters at the ends of the branches and along the stems. At maturity, thin, papery seed cases resemble two leaves joined together and they may have two little antler-like structures on each side near the base. Each seed case contains a single seed.