The leaves are rich in oxalic acid. Perfectly alright in small quantities, the leaves should not be eaten in large amounts since oxalic acid can bind up the body's supply of calcium leading to nutritional deficiency. It is oxalic acid that gives foods such as rhubarb their acid flavour. Cooking the leaves will greatly reduce the oxalic acid content. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition
Fruit - crisp, sweet and succulent
. A salty-sweet flavour
. Very small, it is about 5mm in diameter
. The fruits can be soaked in water and the liquid drunk like sweetened tea
Leaves - cooked like spinach
. The leaves are rich in oxalates so they should not be eaten in quantity
There are no material uses listed for Enchylaena tomentosa.
The plant is antiscorbutic
Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Prick out the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow on for at least their first winter in a greenhouse, planting out after the last expected frosts. Give some protection for at least their first winter outdoors.
It might also be possible to grow the plant as a summer annual, sowing in the spring and planting out the young plants after the last expected frosts.
Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Enchylaena tomentosa. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain. It tolerates temperatures down to at least -7c in Australian gardens where it also resists salt spray
. However, this cannot be translated directly to British gardens due to our cooler summers and longer, colder and wetter winters. It might be worthwhile trying it as a summer annual and seeing if it can overwinter. It probably requires a very well-drained soil and a sunny position[K]. We have overwintered the plant in a cold greenhouse, though it suffered lots of die-back, so it will obviously have problems outdoors[K].
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
There are no interactions listed for Enchylaena tomentosa. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.
Polycultures & Guilds
There are no polycultures listed which include Enchylaena tomentosa.
This table shows all the data stored for this plant.
Material uses & Functions
- Strong wind
- Maritime exposure
Native Climate Zones
Adapted Climate Zones
Native Geographical Range
Root Zone Tendancy
? Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
? 2.02.12.22.32.4 Cribb. A. B. and J. W. Wild Food in Australia. Fontana ISBN 0-00-634436-4 (1976-00-00)
? 3.03.13.2 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
? 4.04.14.24.34.4 Low. T. Wild Food Plants of Australia. Angus and Robertson. ISBN 0-207-14383-8 (1989-00-00)
? Wrigley. J. W. and Fagg. M. Australian Native Plants. Collins. (Australia) ISBN 0-7322-0021-0 (1988-00-00)
? Ewart. A. J. Flora of Victoria. ()