Olive Pink Botanic Garden

A native plant of Australia, the Tall Saltbush (Rhagodia eremaea) is found across the Western Australian rangelands and through Central Australia. Formerly listed under Chenopodium eremaeum.

Tall Saltbush (Rhagodia eremaea)
Tall Saltbush (Rhagodia eremaea), Olive Pink Botanic Garden, Alice Springs, NT

The genus Rhagodia are only found in Australia. They are a small shrubs and scramblers with leaves that are usually wide and flat, often with a floury covering. The red berry certainly catches your attention when clustered. There are 3 species of Rhagodia found in Central Australia-Northern Territory.

The tall saltbush species Rhagodia eremaea has silvered grey-green leaves, and grows in a branched scrambling shrub form, especially when under the canopy of taller protective plants and trees. The leaves are 2 cm long by 1 cm wide, have a spear-head shaped and are sometimes lobed at the base. The waxy hairs on the leaves is what give the tall saltbush a silvery appearance. The male and female flowers are thought to be produced on separate plants, with the female plant forming clusters of red berries.

Like other berry bearing plants found growing in the arid regions, the fruit of the Tall Saltbush is seen as an important resource for honeyeaters of the arid zone.

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Phylum: Tracheophyta
  • Class: Magnoliopsida
  • Superorder: Caryophyllanae
  • Order: Caryophyllales
  • Family: Chenopodiaceae
  • Genus: Rhagodia
  • Species: R. eremaea
  • Binomial name: Rhagodia eremaea
  • Synonyms: Chenopodium eremaeum

Footnote & References

  1. Anne Urban, Wildflowers & Plants of Inland Australia, 2001, Genus Rhagodia, p49