Ruby Saltbush Margaret Donald/Flickr

Ruby Saltbush

Small, semi-succulent, spreading shrub that grows 1 - 2 m tall. Branches grow to 1 m long.


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


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


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

Field Guide

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Species: WhatToObserve Image

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)

Species: WhenAndWhere Image

When and Where

When To Look

  • Single, axillary flowers occur from spring to early summer and autumn
  • Fruits follow flowering with a very showy, small red ripe fruit

Where To Look

  • Common through most of southern and central Australia
  • Southern Ocean in South Australia
  • Adapted to an extremely wide variety of soils, including poor soils from coastal, partially stabilised, dune sands to riverine clay loams
  • Often in saline depressions, and deep siliceous, sandy soils in many semi-arid regions
Species: WhatElse Image

What Else?

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