Ruby Saltbush is an attractive native bush food plant that grows in abundance here on the Southern Moreton Bay Islands. The tiny red berries are edible as are the leaves. The berries have a sweet and slightly salty taste.
The leaves are high in oxalates so if eaten raw in salads etc they should be consumed sparingly. Best to blanch them prior to eating. The leaves dried and crushed make a nice salty seasoning. The leaves from a variety of saltbush called “Old man saltbush” are more commonly used for flavouring and seasoning but the leaves of Ruby Saltbush also work well and are tasty.
If foraging Ruby Saltbush (or any wild edibles) only take a small amount, being careful not to damage the plants as they provide food and habitat for the wildlife. They also play an important role in our ecosystem, helping prevent erosion. Be sure to not harvest anything from an area that may be polluted or sprayed with chemicals. Ruby Saltbush grows well from cuttings so try planting some in your garden. Saltbush seedlings can also be purchased from Indigiscapes Nursery
This is a blog post that I had originally written and published on the Infinite Earth - Organic Market website in October 2018.