Old Man Saltbush

Family: Chenopodiaceae
Genus: Atriplex
Species: nummularia
Main Flower Colour: Yellow


Atriplex nummularia is widespread across much of drylands of central and southern Australia [1]. It extends from the wheatbelt region of Western Australia, across the inland deserts of Northern Territory and South Australia and to the rangelands of western New South Wales and central Queensland. This species is a shrub, multi-stemmed from or near ground level, up to 3 m tall x 4 m wide. It often occurs in pure stands on limestone plains or alluvial floodplains, but may be found in a range habitats, including as an understorey species in eucalypt woodlands. Yellow flowers in these pictures are the male flowers.

Flowering start in June and ends in August.


The main flower colour is yellow.


Atriplex nummularia has become commonly cultivated as a source of stock fodder and is being investigated for its potential to also address dryland salinity in southern Australia [4]. It is a relatively fast growing shrub adapted to alkaline soils and can be grown on sites affected by salinity and periodic inundation. It is moderately frost and drought tolerant. Its foliage is highly palatable to stock despite its high salt content and variable palatability. Natural populations are one of the most important fodder plants of the Australian rangelands. It is also used overseas as a fodder plant in countries such as Chile. Australian Aborigines used the seeds as a traditional food source. The wood is considered to have potential as craftwood and the bark of this species has a high tannin content.


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Bio Regions

Simpson Strzelecki Dunefields (SSD)

Region Specifics

Birdsville Track

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