Monday, February 23, 2009

Atriplex nummularia, Old man saltbush

Atriplex nummularia
 Old man saltbush
This native plant was once scorned as a worthless shrub from arid regions of the country until it was discovered that sheep were fond of grazing on it and the flavour of lamb was improved and more succulent . Visit any specialist butcher or Farmer's Market in the city now and you are likely to find saltbush lamb as a quality brand product.
As a garden specimen, hedge or screening plant, this handsome shrub has much to offer .It reaches about 3 metres and is tolerant of the most adverse conditions including poor, dry and saline soils. It is also frost tolerant. Although it has fairly insignificant flowers, the silver coin shaped leaves have the unique aspect of being reflective, much like the stripe you see on running shoes or jackets. This makes it ideal to use to define boundaries and driveways which are used at night. It is easily propagated by seed or cuttings though both need to be kept on the drier side and not attempted during humid months.
2017 update: I currently don't have any stock available

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