Logo primary
Logo secondary
Neil Bertrando 's Profile
Neil Bertrando
Last Updated:
Reno, Nevada, United States
Climate Zone:
Cold Arid

My Projects

(projects i'm involved in)

RT Permaculture

RT Permaculture

Reno, US


(projects i'm following)

Love Creek Center For Permaculture The Habitus Project True Nature Farm - Sustainable Living & Wilderness School Culture Farms East OSU Student Sustainability Center Millison Family Farms Quail Springs Permaculture Kamiah Permaculture Institute Permaculture Neighborhood Center Mesquite Meadows Dew Permaculture Midwest Permaculture Himalayan Permaculture Centre SouthWoods Design, MN, USA Natural Capital™ Plant Database
Andrew Millison Benjamin Fahrer Bronwyn White Cathe' Fish Chris Evans Craig Sponholtz Daniel Halsey Darren J.  Doherty eric seider Eric Toensmeier Ethan Roland Gabriel Bridges Geoff Lawton Jesse Lemieux Joey D'Elia Josh Robinson Julie Pagliaro Kelly Ware Owen Hablutzel Paul Wheaton Penny Krebiehl Rafter Sass Ferguson Robyn Francis Ryan Harb Stephanie Ladwig-Cooper Steve Gabriel Tim Auld Warren Brush

Back to Neil Bertrando's profile

Salt Tolerant Plant list: Halophytes

Posted by Neil Bertrando over 10 years ago

focused on cold desert plants

I compiled this for my PDC class and thought people on this list might find it useful. 

Any feedback and additions to strategies and resources is always appreciated. 

'At last Class, a question was asked about salty soils. 

We discussed that there are only a few options for treating salty soils, which are defined as soils haveing a large concentration of soluble mineral salt ions. 

  • 1. leave them alone
  • 2. wash them through using water which is less salty (washes salts to another location either downstream or into groundwater aquifers)
  • 3. immobilize and cycle the salts by binding them up in living organisms and on soil organic matter surfaces (increased CEC)
  • 4. Dig out the salt affected soils and remove them -- landfill

  • my preferred option is usually # 3 and I feel it is valuable to know the options when assessing a site. Salt export from the site can be designed in for example by feeding vegetation to animals which are sold, eaten, etc.or cultivating salt tolerant herbs or crops eaten or sold. Locally adapted species can be found by visiting salt-marshes or other saline areas and observing and identifying species along a salt gradient. These may also be locations for collecting plant materials. After a local list is made, climate analogues can be researched to add to diversity and use potential. 

    We reviewed the process of salt soil formation: evapo-concentration of minerals which are usually carried in by water (or deposited by settling or applied by humans) 

    so any long term salt management strategy will include methods that decrease evaporation (which is a primary design strategy in drylands) 

    Here are some resources on phytoremediation. for each site a suite of locally adapted plants can be selected which i would include in plans for option 3 portions of soil salt management strategies. 
    http://www.icarda.org/docrep/Articles/Phytoremediation.pdf provides a survey of the science 
    http://www.ecological-engineering.com/phytorem.html describes process and has a short plant list at bottom 
    http://www.wseas.us/e-library/conferences/2007creteeeesd/papers/562-129.pdf this paper demonstrates the difference between salt tolerance and salt bioaccumulation (removal) both species can be useful as part of a salt soil ecology 
    http://bioeng.ca/pdfs/meeting-papers/2005/CSAE%20papers/05-052.pdf atriplex genus as a salty soil plant (also good browse, included orache) 

    a list of halophytes (salt tolerant plants) from wikipedia 

    salt tolerante cand crop potential of halophytes 

    evolution of halophytes 

    arid western us habitats 

    great basin plant adaptation 

    great basin salt playa seed bank 

    great basin salt plants chapter book preview (fairly extensive plant list) 

    and a case study of one of the Jordan projects 

    and some dryland water strategies 

    These plants could be great for dryland greywater systems as well since many are tolerant of innundation as well as salt. 

    Other uses could be fiber and cordage, weaving basketry, mats, and curtains (always useful in the desert), fodder, insulation (clay slip coated or not), habitat...more? 

    Please help me improve this list and resource

    towards an ecological society...

    Comments (1)

    You must be logged in to comment.

    Neil Bertrando
    Neil Bertrando : a couple of comments to add to this re: strategies for managing saline lands. 1. find out any and all uses of all plants and animals which exist on the land...including how disturbance might affect them 2. consider that rainwater infiltration on site may wash salt through soils. include this as an appropriate strategy (including improving infiltration and drainage by techniques such as keyline pattern cultivation.

    thanks to Eric Toensmeier and Owen Hablutzel for adding to the options that we can use in difficult situations.
    Posted over 9 years ago

    Report Neil Bertrando on Salt Tolerant Plant list: Halophytes


    or cancel

    My Badges
    Consultant Aid worker PRI PDC Teacher
    My Permaculture Qualifications
    Pri verified
    PDC @ Quail Springs
    Type: Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course
    Verifying teacher: Geoff Lawton
    Other Teachers: Nadia Lawton
    Location: Quail Springs, Cuyama, California
    Date: Aug 2008
    Earth Activist Training
    Type: Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course
    Verifying teacher: Erik Ohlsen
    Other Teachers: Starhawk Starhawk
    Location: Cazadero Hills, California
    Date: Sep 2004
    Other course verified
    Keyline Design
    Type: Earthworks
    Verifying teacher: Darren J. Doherty
    Other Teachers: Penny Livingston-Stark
    Location: Aromas, California
    Date: Nov 2009
    Other course unverified
    Permaculture Teachers Training
    Type: Teacher Training
    Verifying teacher: Dave Bohnlein
    Other Teachers: Michael Becker, Sam Bullock, Doug Bullock
    Location: Bullock Brother's Homestead, Orcas Island, WA
    Date: Aug 2007
    Other course verified
    Starting a Permaculture Business
    Type: Other
    Verifying teacher: Robyn Francis
    Other Teachers: Penny Livingston-Stark
    Location: Commonwheel Gardens, RDI, Bolinas, CA
    Date: Jun 2009
    0 PDC Graduates (list)
    2 PRI PDC Graduates (list)
    0 Other Course Graduates (list)
    have acknowledged being taught by Neil Bertrando
    1 have not yet been verified (list)
    Climate Zones
    Neil Bertrando has permaculture experience in:
    Cold Temperate
    Cool Temperate
    Wet/Dry Tropical
    Wet Tropical
    Dry Tropical
    Cold Arid
    Cold Desert

    Report Neil Bertrando


    or cancel

    Hide Neil Bertrando


    or cancel

    Hide Salt Tolerant Plant list: Halophytes


    or cancel

    Report Salt Tolerant Plant list: Halophytes


    or cancel