|Scientific Name:||Maireana brevifolia (syn. Kochia brevifolia)|
Photograph courtesy of Viridans Biological Databases (external link)
Other Common Names:
Short-leaf Bluebush, Cottonbush
Native to inland parts of all mainland Australia.
Shrub to about 1 m high, with slender often reddish branches which are sparsely woolly, with tufts of wool in the leaf axils. Leaves alternate, scattered, fleshy, obovoid to almost threadlike, 2 – 5 mm long, narrowing into a short stalk, mostly hairless. Flowers solitary in the leaf axils. Fruiting body hairless, tube shallowly hemispherical, about 2 mm diameter with 5 horizontally overlapping wings, 2 – 3 mm long, with delicate brown veins. Flowering mainly summer – autumn.
On a wide range of soils, in many vegetation communities, often in saline situations.
Very drought tolerant and will withstand some stock browsing. Yanga Bush belongs to the Bluebushes, of which 22 species occur in Victoria. Most species grow in dry Mallee environments but some species prefer depressions and drainage lines and a few (e.g. Rosy Bluebush – Maireana erioclada) display some salt tolerance. A plant, which can grow under saline conditions, with a similar fruiting structure to the Bluebushes is the naturalised and widespread Buckbush (Salsola tragus) but this species has sharp prickly leaves