The California Saltbush (Extriplex californica), or Saladillo in Spanish, is native to coastal California and Baja California, Mexico. It is mostly found in northwestern Baja California north of Tijuana and into southern California. It thrives in sandy soils like beaches, sea bluffs, and coastal dunes absorbing water from the ocean’s surf spray, then releasing the salt through its leaves.
To see this plant in its native habitat, visit Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve for a hike or guided walk where you will likely see this plant clinging to the cliffs above the ocean.
To see more photos of the California Saltbush, visit the San Diego Natural History Museum’s San Diego County Plant Atlas.
PHOTO CREDIT: Anthony Valois