Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Old Man Saltbush

Several years ago we drove through outback New South Wales. How anyone could think the outback dreary beats me. The variety of geography and plant life is amazing. In one area south of Hay it's very flat and saltbush is about the only thing that grows there. I couldn't go past the black cows against the grey-blue saltbush without photographing them.

Last weekend we visited a cousin at Drummartin north of Bendigo. He has planted saltbush in the house paddock as a trial alternative stock food. Saltbush is quite edible and nutritious, just a little salty. He lops the top of the shrubs occasionally so that the available leaves are at sheep level. He's also planted a couple to shade the dog kennels. I have also planted one in my garden - we're on water restrictions so a plant that can survive the toughest of droughts might be all that survives here. Mine is the Old Man Saltbush Atriplex mummularia. I'm not sure which saltbush is growing on the farm.

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