Herb: Greasewood

Latin name: Sarcobatus vermiculatus

Synonyms: Sarcobatus maximiliani

Family: Chenopodiaceae (Goosefoot Family)

Medicinal use of Greasewood:

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.

Description of the plant:


2.7 m
(8 3/4 foot)


Habitat of the herb:

Dry alkaline and saline soils.

Edible parts of Greasewood:

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.

Other uses of the herb:

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.

Propagation of Greasewood:

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 July/August.

Cultivation of the herb:

Dry alkaline and saline soils.

Known hazards of Sarcobatus vermiculatus:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.