A native plant of Australia, the Ruby Saltbush (Enchylaena tomentosa) is also commonly known as barrier saltbush.
A spreading shrub (that can be sometimes straggly in looks), with semi-succulent leaves, bluish-green to grey in colour and densely covered with short hairs. The shrub can grow up to a metre in height and has an edible fruit about 5 mm across. The fruit changes colour as it ripens, from green through yellow, orange, red and black.
The ripe fruit can be picked and eaten raw, being described as salty-sweet. It is picked by the desert Aboriginal people as a snack food, although mainly eaten by children1. The indigenous groups in Central Australia have been recorded as soaking the fruit in water to make a sweetened tea.
A bird attracting plant that is usually found growing under taller trees.
- Scientific classification
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Clade: Tracheophytes
- Clade: Angiosperms
- Clade: Eudicots
- Order: Caryophyllales
- Family: Amaranthaceae
- Genus: Enchylaena
- Species: E. tomentosa
- Binomial name: Enchylaena tomentosa
Footnote & References
- Enchylaena tomentosa (ruby saltbush), Bushfires & Bushtucker by Peter Latz, IAD Press, Alice Springs, NT, ISBN: 0-949659-96-7, p166
- Enchylaena tomentosa, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enchylaena_tomentosa (last visited Apr. 6, 2021).