3075 Lane 51 1/2

Manderson, WY 82432





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Gardner/Trident and Fourwing Saltbush Origin Importance

Most out-of-state companies buy what they call "gardner" from Utah. Dr. Howard Stutz, professor emeritus from BYU, and world-recognized expert on Atriplex, considers the Utah material Atriplex tridentata rather than Atriplex gardneri. Trident saltbush blooms six weeks later than gardner, even in Southwest Wyoming where they intergrade, so there is little chance of cross pollination. Since the two types grow side by side without interbreeding, Stutz defines them as separate species. Trident occurs in Utah and Nevada, while gardner is adapted to Wyoming and Montana. Since they grow on different soil types, Utah-origin trident may not perform on your project.

Utah-origin "gardner" is less expensive than Wyoming-origin gardner, hence makes the total mix look cheaper, though poorly adapted seed will be much more expensive in the long run if you have to go back and reseed the area.

Another species whose success is dependent upon the origin of the seed is Atriplex canescens. Fourwing saltbush collected in New Mexico or Arizona, even from the high elevations, has proven to winterkill in Wyoming. As several coal mines in the state can testify, it may seem to establish for ten years but be killed by a cold, open, dry winter. Seed from southern Utah and Nevada, as well, evolved in less harsh climate than Montana and Wyoming. As you have probably noticed, fourwing growing in northern states are scattered, waist-high bushes, compared with six-foot tall giants in New Mexico and Arizona. As a result, it is more expensive to collect northern-origin seed, and there is usually not enough to fill the demand.




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