What is Salsola soda?

What is Salsola soda?

Salsola soda, more commonly known in English as opposite-leaved saltwort, oppositeleaf Russian thistle, or barilla plant, is a small (to 0.7 m tall), annual, succulent shrub that is native to the Mediterranean Basin. It is a halophyte (a salt-tolerant plant) that typically grows in coastal regions and can be irrigated with salt water.

What is the historical significance of the Salsola plant?

The plant has great historical importance as a source of soda ash, which was extracted from the ashes of Salsola soda and other saltwort plants. Soda ash is one of the alkali substances that are crucial in glassmaking and soapmaking.

What does a Salsola plant look like?

This annual, succulent plant can grow into small shrubs up to 0.7 m tall (sometimes called subshrubs). It has fleshy green leaves with either green or red stems. The tiny flowers develop from inflorescences that grow out of the base of the leaves near the stem. Salsola soda is native in Eurasia and North Africa.

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