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Common Name: Greasewood
Sarcobatus vermiculatus is a deciduous shrub that can grow up to 2.70 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials.
South-western N. America - Nebraska and Wyoming to Nevada and New Mexico.
Alkaline or saline soils in semiarid or arid plains, alkali flats, slopes, desert-shrub communities, sagebrush, saltflats, roadsides, fencerows, dry washes at elevations of 600 - 2400 metres[
An easily grown plant[
], succeeding in a sunny position in most well-drained soils[
]. Tolerates alkaline and saline soils[
Plants can be dioecious or monoecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.
Young shoots - cooked[
]. Used as greens[
]. The young twigs are cut into short pieces and boiled until tender[
The seeds are occasionally consumed[
]. They are used as a food at times when other foods are in short supply[
]. The seeds are about 2mm in diameter[
The crushed leaves have been used to treat insect bites[
An infusion of the burnt plant has been used in the treatment of diarrhoea and bleeding from the rectum[
The wood or the roots can be heated until they are burnt or blackened and then used on aching and decayed teeth[
The wood is used for fuel, for want of better materials in the areas where it grows wild[
The wood is strong[
]. It has been used in general construction[
Seed - we have no information for this species but suggest sowing the seed in early spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood are worth trying in mid summer.