San Marcos Growers LogoSan Marcos Growers
New User
Wholesale Login
Enter Password
Home Products Purchase Gardens About Us Resources Contact Us
Nursery Closure
Search Utilities
Plant Database
Search Plant Name
Detail Search Avanced Search Go Button
Search by size, origins,
details, cultural needs
Website Search Search Website GO button
Search for any word
Site Map
Retail Locator
Plant Listings


  for JUNE

Natives at San Marcos Growers
Succulents at San Marcos Growers
 Weather Station

Products > Rhagodia spinescens
Rhagodia spinescens - Creeping Australian Saltbush
Image of Rhagodia spinescens
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Chenopodiaceae (Goosefoots)
Origin: Australia (Australasia)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Insignificant
Bloomtime: Not Significant
Synonyms: [R. deltophylla, R. spinescens inermis]
Height: 2-4 feet
Width: 6-8 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Seaside: Yes
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): No Irrigation required
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Rhagodia spinescens (Creeping Australian Saltbush) - A dense low growing shrub to 6 to 18 inches tall (when out in the open) with an 8 foot or more spread and small soft gray leaves that completely cover the stems. It has remained prostrate in our Santa Barbara garden but can clamber higher onto other shrubs, fences or other structures and tends to get taller when over irrigated or when grown in moister northern California gardens. As with most other saltbushes, it tolerates adverse conditions such as drought, frost and salty seaside conditions. Best in full sun but surprisingly tolerant of fairly deep shade. Give this plant little or no supplemental irrigation. A great groundcover for a dry sunny site or can be grown up a chain link fence to make a vertical wall. Completely hardy to the low 20s F - actually survived 18 F in our winter 1990 freeze with the stems literally splitting and then healing with otherwise little damage. This species can be found throughout central and eastern Australia in every state but this low growing spineless selection is considered to be one of the best for landscape plantings and is noted as being resistant to burning. The name for the genus comes from the Greek word 'rhagodes' meaning "berry-like" in reference to the fruit and specific epithet means "somewhat spiny". We received this plant in 1989 from the University of California, Santa Cruz Arboretum who got the plant in the late 1970s from the Australian National Botanic Garden Canberra. At the UCSC Arboretum they originally envisioned this beautiful gray plant as a solid groundcover under blue hibiscus, Alyogyne huegelii, but in cool moist Santa Cruz it became too tall and likely climbed up and over the Alyogyne as we have noted it will do if interplanted with taller plants or if planted too close with each other - best out in the open and well spaced where it remains flatter. The specific epithet is a bit misleading as this selection of Rhagodia spinescens (sometimes called variety inermis) is soft and completely spineless. Rhagodia spinescens 'SAB01', a nearly identical low growing cultivar marketed through the Dig Plants program, was evaluated in the UC Irrigations trials and earned its Blue Ribbon Award for its high performance on low water at the UC Davis evaluations site. At the UC Irvine location plants showed a few symptoms of yellow leaf tip, that was thought to possibly be related to the use of reclaimed water, but otherwise performed very well and the resulting recommendation was to irrigate this plant using the low water regime (20% ETo) in WUCOLS regions 2 and 3. We have grown this great plant since 1990. 

This information about Rhagodia spinescens displayed on this web page is based on research we have conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations we have made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens visited, as well how our crops have performed in containers in the nursery field. Where appropriate, we will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share cultural information that would aid others in growing this plant.