Greasewood (Sarcobatus vermiculatus)
Family: Chenopodiaceae (Goosefoot Family)
Description: may grow up to 8 ft tall, but generally reaches heights of no more than 4 ft in this area. Plant has overall scraggly, densely-branched, spiny appearance. Fleshy, narrow leaves have a nearly circular cross-section and may be salty to taste.
Range: occurs throughout the western United States from California to Kansas. At Colorado National Monument, it grows best in salty soils.
Did you know: like the four-wing saltbush, greasewood thrives in soils with high salt concentrations. To survive in such soils, this plant has developed a deeply penetrating root system that can reach up to 57 feet! This allows greasewood to access water far below the parched ground surface.
Did You Know?
Colorado National Monument's Independence Monument is 450 feet tall from its base to its top. The top of Independence Monument is 5,739 feet in elevation.