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Enchylaena tomentosa - Ruby Saltbush

Family:Chenopodiaceae
Habit:Shrub
Height:1
Synonyms:
Range:Australia.
Enchylaena tomentosa (Ruby Saltbush) is a Shrub which grows to a height of 1m . It has a hardness rating of 9.
The flowers from this plant are hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and they are pollinated by

Soil Information

Ruby Saltbush will grow in light (sandy),medium (loamy), soil. It is / is important for the soil to be well drained.
The soil prefers the following PH / acid levels :
- pH of less than 6, Acidic soils
- pH between 6 and 8, Neutral soils
- pH greater than 8, Basic soils
Ruby Saltbush prefers either dry or moist soils

Ideal Planting Locations

Ruby Saltbush should not be planted in shady areas.

Loamy and slightly saline soils by the coast in semi-arid areas[154, 157]. Found in saltmarshes and rocky headlands as well as in arid zones inland[193].

Planting places suited to this plant described below.

Cultivation Details

We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain. It tolerates temperatures down to at least -7c in Australian gardens where it also resists salt spray[157]. However, this cannot be translated directly to British gardens due to our cooler summers and longer, colder and wetter winters. It might be worthwhile trying it as a summer annual and seeing if it can overwinter. It probably requires a very well-drained soil and a sunny position[K]. We have overwintered the plant in a cold greenhouse, though it suffered lots of die-back, so it will obviously have problems outdoors[K].

Edible Uses*

* See disclaimer
Edible Rating: 2/5
Fruit - crisp, sweet and succulent[144, 183]. A salty-sweet flavour[193]. Very small, it is about 5mm in diameter[193]. The fruits can be soaked in water and the liquid drunk like sweetened tea[193]. Leaves - cooked like spinach[183, 193]. The leaves are rich in oxalates so they should not be eaten in quantity[144].

Medicinal Uses*

* See disclaimer
Medicinal Rating: 1/5
The plant is antiscorbutic[144].

Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Prick out the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow on for at least their first winter in a greenhouse, planting out after the last expected frosts. Give some protection for at least their first winter outdoors. It might also be possible to grow the plant as a summer annual, sowing in the spring and planting out the young plants after the last expected frosts. Cuttings.

Known Hazards

The leaves are rich in oxalic acid. Perfectly alright in small quantities, the leaves should not be eaten in large amounts since oxalic acid can bind up the body's supply of calcium leading to nutritional deficiency. It is oxalic acid that gives foods such as rhubarb their acid flavour. Cooking the leaves will greatly reduce the oxalic acid content. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition[238].

Other Uses

None known

Cultivars

no recorded cultivars

References

Flora of Victoria.
Ewart. A. J.
Author: Ewart. A. J.
Rating:
Publisher : A flora of eastern Australia, it is rather short on information that is useful to the plant project.
Date of Publication :

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