An initiative of Earthwatch Institute

  1. Ruby_saltbush_fruit_a_j_brown_agriculture_vic ruby_saltbush_fruit_A J Brown_Agriculture VIC

Ruby Saltbush

Enchylaena Tomentosa var Tomentosa


Description: Small, semi-succulent, spreading shrub that grows from 1-2m tall. Branches may to one metre long. 

Leaves: leaves are green in colour with fine white hairs. Leaves are semi-succulent, cylindrical in shape and grow up to 2 cm long.  

Flowers: Flowers are small and solitary, held in the leaf axils (where leaf joins stem). 

Fruits/seeds: Fruits are bright and small (5mm in diameter). Prior to ripening they are green-yellow in colour and turn red-orange when they have ripened.  

Great variation exists in leaf colour and hairiness, plant stature and colour of the fruit.

What to Observe

  • First fully open single flower 
  • Full flowering (record all days)
  • End of flowering (when 95% of the flowers have faded)
  • No flowering
  • Fruits/seeds (record all days)

ClimateWatch Science Advisor

We expect plants to start shooting and flowering earlier in the year as a result of climate change warming the Earth. They may also start appearing in new areas, as warmer temperatures enable them to live in environments that were previously too cold for them. Help scientists answer the question: "How are our animals, plants and ecosystems responding to climate change?"

When To Look

The single, axillary flowers are insignificant and occur from spring to early summer and autumn. These are followed by very showy, small (5 mm diameter) fruits which are red when ripe.


Where To Look

Ruby saltbush is a very common native plant, occurring through most of southern and central Australia. It is adapted to an extremely wide variety of soils. Naturally, it can be found over a wide range of poor soils from coastal, partially stabilised, dune sands near the Southern Ocean in South Australia, to riverine clay loams, often in saline depressions, and to the deep siliceous, sandy soils in many semi-arid regions of the continent.



  1. Search Species