Caragana argentea Lam.
Halimodendron argenteum DC.
Robinia halodendron Pall.
Common Name: Salt Tree
Halimodendron halodendron is a deciduous shrub with very spiny, spreading branches; it can grow up to 2 metres tall[
The plant is used in soil stabilization projects and is sometimes grown as an ornamental, where it can be used as a hedge and is valued especially for its elegance of growth, its abundant flowers, and its handsome grey foliage[
Halimodendron halodendron has naturalized in various parts of the USA, and is listed as a noxious weed in California.
Europe - eastern Russia, Ukraine; Asia - Turkey, Caucasus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Mongolia
Salt steppes and saline flood plains[
]. Steppes, sandy desert sites, solonchaks, coastal and flatland tugai (a vegetation found on moist, salt-rich soils in river flood-plains)[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
Halimodendron halodendron is a very cold-hardy plant, able to withstand temperatures down to around -40°c when fully dormant[
]. The plant is usually found in semi-arid climates where winters can be very cold and summers very hot. It is unable to thrive in mild wet climates, winter rainfall being especially harmful, though winter snow is commonly experienced in its native range[
Succeeds in most fertile soils but they must be perfectly drained and the plant requires a very sunny position[
]. Plants are well adapted to maritime situations, growing well on alkaline, sandy and saline soils[
]. Another report says that the plant is unable to thrive in any soil that contains lime[
Very intolerant of winter wet, especially when grown on its own roots[
]. It can be grafted onto Caragana arborescens or Laburnum species and will then fare better in moister climates[
The flowers have a delicate sweet almond perfume[
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
Planted as a wind shelter in Canada, the plant has value in its ability to stabilize soils[
Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and then sow in spring in a greenhouse. Use a very well drained compost and be very careful not to overwater, the seedlings are very susceptible to a wet soil[
]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, mid summer in a frame. Very difficult.