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.
Last updated: February 24, 2015