Creeping Saltbush or Rhagodia Spinescens is an Australian native plant with edible berries and attractive silver blue foliage that can be grown as an ornamental as well as an edible.
How to Grow Creeping Saltbush / Rhagodia Spinescens
Australia has many different types of saltbush, the most common edible being the Old Man Saltbush. Creeping Saltbush (Rhagodia Spinescens) is an Australian native plant with small, soft silver-blue foliage. It grows to a height of 1 metre by 2 metre wide in full sun or part shade.
There’s very little information available on the perennial plant which produces red edible berries. I am growing mine in a tall container and it has been thriving since I purchased the plant. Aside from the occasional watering and pruning into shape, it requires very little maintenance. Some sources describe it as ‘almost indestructible’ but I think this will be put to the test unless I repot mine when it outgrows its current container.
You might want to grow Creeping Saltbush more as an Australian native ornamental than bush tucker but it pays to experiment with the flavours. The silvery leaves have a flavour that I describe as subtle salty and bitter at the same time. I use it in marinades, to season meats and fish, and dried as a condiment.
When my plant produces edible berries, I will update this article with suggestions on how to use them in the kitchen.
Creeping Saltbush in Cocktails
The Australian native saltbush can be dehydrated, ground into a powder and mixed with salt to rim a cocktail glass. Sprigs of Rhagodia spinescens can be used to flavour drinking shrubs, or dehydrated and used as cocktail garnish. I mainly use it as an ingredient in oxymel, a cocktail modifier made with raw honey and raw apple cider vinegar.