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Enchylaena tomentosa - R.Br.

Common Name Ruby Saltbush
Family Chenopodiaceae
USDA hardiness 8-11
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].
Habitats Loamy and slightly saline soils by the coast in semi-arid areas[154, 157]. Found in salt marshes and rocky headlands as well as in arid zones inland[193].
Range Australia.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care
Half Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Enchylaena tomentosa Ruby Saltbush


Enchylaena tomentosa Ruby Saltbush

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Enchylaena tomentosa is an evergreen Shrub growing to 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 9. It is in leaf all year. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in saline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; South Wall. By. West Wall. By.

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Leaves
Edible Uses:

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

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Antiscorbutic

The plant is antiscorbutic[144].

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Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

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].

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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.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Expert comment

Author

R.Br.

Botanical References

154

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

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Subject : Enchylaena tomentosa  
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