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Enchylaena tomentosa (Ruby Saltbush)

This member of the world-wide Chenopodiaceae family has many common names, among them Ruby Saltbush and Barrier Saltbush. Enchylaena tomentosa is found over a wide range of poor soils from coastal, partially stabilised, dune sands near the Southern Ocean in South Australia to saline depressions, and sandy soils in many semi-arid regions of the continent. The berries which are produces throughout the year are edible. Early explorers and settlers sometimes ate the leaves as a vegetable in the belief that they were a source of vitamin C. While it is unlikely that the leaves contain vitamins, they are actually known to be poisonous!  The evergreen leaves are covered with fine white hairs, giving the plant an attractive grey appearance overall.

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