Plants of
South Australia
Enchylaena tomentosa var. tomentosa
Barrier Saltbush
Display all 10 images
Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Critically endangered
Data deficient
Coober Pedy
Mount Gambier
Enlarge Map
Copy Map
Copy Map
Display IBRA region text

Botanical art

Kath Alcock painting: 1.


Enchylaena from the Greek 'egchlos' meaning fleshy, succulent and 'laina' meaning lined cloak, alluding to the succulent fruiting perianth. Tomentosa from the Latin 'tomentum' meaning wool, hair, referring to the hairs on the plant.

Distribution and status

A widespread species found across South Australia in a variety of habitats. Occurs mainly in slightly saline soil. Common.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Nullarbor, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern, Green Adelaide
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Shrubby perennial to 1m high; branches decumbent to erect; tomentose. Leaves semi-terete, succulent to approximately 15mm long; villous. Inconspicous small flowers; solitary, emerging from the axis of the leaf and stem. Flowering May-November. Fruits are fruiting perianth depressed-globular, flat to deeply sunken in the centre; wing absent or crown-like and incurved; lobes glabrous but ciliolate to pubescent. Approximately 5mm in diameter; green, yellow or red (drying brown to black). Seeds are seeds are black/brown and disc shaped up to 1.5 mm diameter, with overlapping embryo tip sometimes forming a small beak. Seed embryo type is peripheral.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between December and April. Collect the fruits by running gloved fingers through branches to remove mature or drying fruits. Collect when fruit is red and seed inside is brown and firm. Soak the fruit in 1% pectinase and water solution for at least 4 hours. Then gently rub the soaked fruits through a sieve to remove the fleshy and leave the remaining seeds to dry. Store the dried fruit heads with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place. Germination 100%, seed scarified (covering structure removed) on 1% w/v agar, 12/12 dark/light, 23°C/9°C. See

Germination table: