Old Man Saltbush is a familiar sight over large areas of the dry inland of Australia. It is a sprawling grey-blue shrub, up to 3 metres high and sometimes spreading to 5 metres wide. It is a long living plant, growing strongly after periods of summer rain, producing long tassels of flowering seed heads. In old times indigenous Australians mostly collected the minute Saltbush seeds to grind and roast for damper.
As kids we used them to practice for Track and Field events like hurdling.
My husband has been placed on low sodium diet. No table salt. So I have made a substitute using sesame seeds, celery seeds, ground rice and saltbush leaves. All ground finely in coffee grinder. As he is using it (moderately) on meals without grumbling about loss of salt container, it seems to be a success.
The large fresh or blanched Saltbush leaves can be used as a wrap around meat or fish, in salads or as a leafy bed for grilled meat or vegetables. The dried Saltbush flakes are a wonderful addition to bread, grills, pasta and as a pot herb.
Saltbush and Ruby Saltbush