Salsola kali ruthenica
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Common Name: Prickly Russian Thistle
Salsola kali ruthenica is an annual plant that can grow up to 0.50 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine
Europe, Naturalized in Northern N. America.
Sandy shores, cultivated fields and waste places in Eastern N. America[
]. Often found in non-saline sands and as a ruderale in Europe[
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of this country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus.
Requires a very sunny position in a light or medium well-drained soil, it tolerates salty soils, occasional inundation by salt water and maritime exposure. Succeeds in poor soils and grows more vigorously on alkaline soils[
Young leaves and stems - raw or cooked[
]. The very young shoots are chopped up and eaten in salads, older shoots are cooked as greens or as a salty flavouring for other foods[
Seed - cooked. Roasted and used as food[
A poultice of the chewed plants has been applied to ant, bee and wasp stings[
An infusion of the plant ashes has been used both internally and as a wash in the treatment of smallpox and influenza[
Seed - sow spring in situ. The seed has a short viability and should be stored cool over the winter[