Improvement status: Wild
Seeds per packet: ~100
BOTANICAL SAMPLE - NOT GERMINATION TESTED
Life cycle: Perennial
Also called "chamiso," four wing saltbush is a salt-tolerant evergreen perennial in the amaranth family (and the same genus as garden orach) native to western North America. It's a common sight across many deserts and scrublands in the west. An attractive plant, it also boasts edible seeds which are mixed with water to make a refreshing beverage. Hopi people burned the plant to produce mineral-rich culinary ashes used for nixtamalization and to enhance the color of blue corn products. Burnt plants produce culinary ash useful for nixtamalizing corn.
Our seed comes from Texas, care of the good folks at Sheffield's Seed Company in Locke, NY.
GROWING TIPS: Hardy to Zone 7, it prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils that are well drained. It can handle nutritionally poor soil and can tolerate both acid and alkaline soil (neutral too), and has high salt tolerance. In fact, some salt might improve the flavor if you're growing it for food. It requires full sun. Seeds should sprout readily after 24 hours soaking in water (then rinsing three times). Plant seed 1/4" deep.
NOTE: Due to limited supply, these seeds have not been germination tested with a test that meets legal standards, so we are selling them as botanical samples.