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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Two-scale Saltbush - Atriplex heterosperma
Other Names:  Two-scale Orache, Atriplex micrantha

Non-native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNA

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value: 0

External Links

General Description
Monoecious annuals, farinose when young but glabrous with age. Stems erect, 30–100 cm, branched or simple. Leaf blades 2–8 cm long, triangular, hastate with entire to toothed margins. Inflorescence a leafy-bracteate, loosely branched, pyramidal panicle. Male flowers 5-parted. Female flowers lacking a calyx; pistillate bracts distinct. Mature pistillate bracts orbiculate with entire margins, of two size: 4–6 mm and 2–3 mm. Disturbed soil of roadsides, streambanks; plains, valleys (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range
Montana Range


Range Comments
Much of MT although less so along Hi Line and southeast; native to Eurasia, introduced and occurring sporadically from BC to ON and WA, CA, and NV; more widely established in UT, parts of CO and much of WY and western SD (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX; Welsh 2003 in Fl. N. Amer. Vol. 4).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 19

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)


  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Eggers, M.J.S. 2005. Riparian vegetation of the Montana Yellowstone and cattle grazing impacts thereon. M.Sc. Thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman, MT. 125 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Two-scale Saltbush — Atriplex heterosperma.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from