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 Sarcobatus subsp. var.  Greasewood
Geasewood Sarcobatus baileyi p024.jpg
Habit: shrub
Height: to
Width: to
6ft 7ft
Height: warning.png"" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. to 6 ft
Width: warning.png"" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. to 7 ft
Lifespan: perennial
Exposure: sun
Features: deciduous
Hidden fields, interally pass variables to right place
Minimum Temp: °Fwarning.png"°F" is not a number.
USDA Zones: 5 to 10
Sunset Zones:
Flower features:
Rosaceae > Sarcobatus var. ,

Greasewood (Sarcobatus) is a genus of one or two species of flowering plants. Traditionally it has been treated in the family Chenopodiaceae, but the APG II system, of 2003, places it in the family Sarcobataceae.

Close-up of greasewood
The plants are deciduous shrubs growing to 0.5–3 m tall with spiny branches and succulent leaves, 10–40 mm long and 1–2 mm broad. The leaves are green, in contrast to the grey-green color of most of the other shrubs within its range. The flowers are unisexual and appear from June to August. The species reproduces from seeds and sprouts. The green or tan fruit is small and winged. Small brown seeds are contained inside the fruit.[1]

Their area of distribution is western North America.

Greasewood is a halophyte, and is commonly found in sunny, flat areas around the margins of playas and in dry stream beds and arroyos. Greasewood often grows in extensive, nearly pure stands in pluvial desert locations. Greasewood does not grow exclusively in highly saline areas, but is most common on fine-grained soils in areas with a relatively high water table.



Pests and diseases


The two species are not accepted as distinct by all authors; see the Flora of North America for further details.

  • Sarcobatus baileyi Coville (syn. Sarcobatus vermiculatus var. baileyi (Coville) Jepson). Nevada, endemic. Low shrub 0.5–1 m tall. Leaves hairy, 10–16 mm long.
  • Sarcobatus vermiculatus (Hook.) Torr.. Throughout the range of the genus. Shrub 1–5 m tall. Leaves hairless or only slightly hairy, 15–40 mm long.

The name Sarcobatus comes from Greek sarko (meaning flesh) and batos (meaning bramble), referring to the species' spiny branches and succulent leaves.



  1. Utah State University.

External links

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