Shadscale is a common, often dominant, shrub in the lowest and driest areas of the Great Basin. It prefers sandy, well-drained soils and it is tolerant of moderately saline conditions.
The height of Atriplex confertifolia varies from 1–3 ft (0.30–0.91 m). Shadscale fruits and leaves provide important winter browse for domestic livestock and native herbivores. Compared to fourwing saltbush (Atriplex canescens), shadscale has shorter and wider leaves and the fruit does not have four wings (although it may have two wings in a "V" shape).
This species blooms from March to June.
Maximum osmotic pressure has been reported in Atriplex conf. where it is about 202.5 atm.
- Tropicos search for Atriplex sabulosa
- The Plant List, Atriplex confertifolia (Torr. & Frém.) S.Watson
- Biota of North America Program 2014 county distribution map
- CONABIO. 2009. Catálogo taxonómico de especies de México. 1. In Capital Nat. México. CONABIO, México D.F..
- Flora of North America Atriplex confertifolia
- Calflora Database: Atriplex confertifolia (Shadscale, Spiny saltbush)
- USDA Plants Profile for Atriplex confertifolia (shadscale)
- Jepson Manual eFlora (TJM2) treatment of Atriplex confertifolia
- Missouri Botanical Garden: photo of herbarium isotype specimen of Atriplex subconferta (synonym of A. confertifolia) — collected in Wyoming (1911).
- Atriplex confertifolia in the CalPhotos Photo Database, University of California, Berkeley
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