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Salsola soda - L.
Common Name Barilla Plant. Oppositeleaf Russian Thistle
Family Chenopodiaceae
USDA hardiness Coming soon
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Maritime sands and salty soils near sea level in the Mediterranean and in Turkey[93, 100].
Range Europe - Mediterranean to W. Asia.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun


Salsola soda Barilla Plant. Oppositeleaf Russian Thistle

Salsola soda Barilla Plant. Oppositeleaf Russian Thistle
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Salsola soda is a ANNUAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft). The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline and saline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.


 Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses:

Young leaves and stems - cooked and used as a vegetable[46, 61, 183]. A crunchy tender texture[206].
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known
Other Uses

The ashes of the burnt plant are used for making glass and soap[46, 61]. At one time large quantities of the ashes were imported into Britain for this purpose, but nowadays a chemical process using salt is employed[4].
Cultivation details
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. Plants are sometimes cultivated for the potash obtained from their stems[46, 61]. 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[206].
Seed - sow spring in situ. The seed has a short viability and should be stored cool over the winter[206].

Books by Plants For A Future

Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Salsola collinaTumbleweed. Slender Russian Thistle11
Salsola kaliSaltwort, Russian thistle32
Salsola komarovii 10
Salsola tragusPrickly Russian Thistle21
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Botanical References
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Readers comment
Elizabeth H.
Tue Feb 14 2006
heyy people this is pretty interesting abouy Soda Plants
Elizabeth H.
Jon Gunn Sat Oct 14 2006
This plant has been burned for ash toe make caustic soda and soap since ancient times.
Elizabeth H.
joseph davides Wed Jun 4 2008
I know this plant 1946 is sold in the markets in egypt is good boillet salad addet lemon juise and olive oil and eated with frayet fish good apetite now I am growing it on my garden some time ego it was verry dear now is growing comertialy BY TO ALL
Elizabeth H.
Bill Wed Jan 13 2010
The term soda ash is derived from this plant and is sodium carbonate, Na2CO3. When the plant is burned, the CO2 mixes with the Na to form this compound used in glass making to lower the temperature of SiO2 from 2300C to 1500C saving energy. It has been suggested as a biodesalinator to be grown with other non-halophytes to sequester excess salt and allow other plants to grow in saline soils such as tomatoes.
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Subject : Salsola soda  

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