Nitraria billardierei – Nitre Bush

This bush food plant is found throughout Australia, primarily in very saline areas, both inland and coastal. Likes clay and loamy soils and is also found in overgrazed areas, so could be useful to regenerate such areas. It is a low spreading shrub, bearing white flowers in spring which then mature into the edible red fruits. These fruits taste apparently like salty grapes, they could make a great and interesting addition to savoury dishes! They can also be dried or made into jams.

Picture provided by Philip Clarke, from his new book Discovering Aboriginal Plant Use: Journeys of an Australian Anthropologist

Scientific Name:Nitraria billardierei
Common Name:Nitre Bush
Other Common Names:Karrambi, Wild Grape
Plant Type:Small shrub, Large shrub
Height:1 ~ 2 metre
Width:2 ~ 4 metres
Flower Colour:White
Flowering Time:Spring
Ph Level:Neutral
Soil Type:Clay, Loamy, Clay loam, Saline
Plant Environment:Low maintenance garden, Container growing, Coastal garden, Drought resistant
Climate Zone:Warm temperate, Cool temperate, Mediterranean, Semi-arid
Planting Season:Spring
Growth Habit:Evergreen, Dense foliage, Spreading
Soil Moisture:Well-drained
Propagation Method:Seed
Frost Tolerance:Tolerates light frost
Special Uses:Edible, Erosion control
Attracts Wildlife:Seed eating birds


Once you have found the plant that you want, the next step is to find where to get it. Nurseries stock a good range of plants, but due to space and supplies, they may or may not have the wanted plant in stock. If they don’t, they may be able to order it in for you.  Specialist nurseries are also able to give great advice, and if they don’t have the plant you want, they can often suggest alternative plants that will be just as good for you. Below is a list of our favourite specialist nurseries. Click on the links for their details-


The Wildflower Place Erina – NSW 


Sydney Wildflower Nursery – NSW


Newcastle Wildflower Nursery – NSW


Cool Country Natives – ACT


Geelong Native Plants – Victoria


Wimmera Native Nursery – Victoria


Zanthorrea Nursery – Perth WA


Manuka Native Nursery – South Australia




Sydney Wildflower Nursery – mail order


The Native Shop – mail order




Angus recommends Bush Tucker fertiliser for native plants.