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Salvadora persica (Toothbrush tree)

Intermediate
skill rating
2 hours care
per year
8m
Max height
8m
Max spread
20-50 Years
To maturity
Low
Toxicity

Plant details

Botanical name

Salvadora persica

Other names

Toothbrush tree, Salvadora indica, Mustard tree, Arak, Jhak, Pilu, Meswak, Saltbush, Peelu

Genus

Salvadora Salvadora

Species

S. persica - S. persica is a tender, spreading, evergreen shrub or small tree with fleshy, narrowly ovate to broadly lance-shaped, grey-green leaves and panicles of tiny, yellow flowers from winter into spring followed by spherical, semi-translucent, fleshy, edible, red fruit.


Salvadora persica is: Evergreen

Habit

Spreading

Toxicity

Though used for centuries in traditional, herbal medicine, may be toxic in large quantities.

Flower

Golden-yellow in Spring

Foliage

Grey-green, Bright-green in All seasons

How to care

Watch out for

Pests

Generally pest free. Resistant to deer.

Specific pests

Bark borer , Glasshouse red spider mite , Mealybugs Bark borer , Glasshouse red spider mite , Mealybugs

Root rot Root rot

General care

Pruning

May need restrictive pruning if grown under glass.

Propagation

Seeds require pre-treatment. Remove pulp. Soak in water for 12-24 hours. After soaking, sow with gentle heat. In frost-free areas, direct sow when ripe.

Propagation methods

Seed, Semi-ripe cuttings


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Where to grow

Salvadora persica (Toothbrush tree) will reach a height of 8m and a spread of 8m after 20-50 Years.

Suggested uses

Bees (attract & feed bees), Desert garden/Xeriscaping, Drought Tolerant, Greenhouse, Hedging/Screens, Mediterranean, Specimen tree, Wallside and trellises, Wind-breaker

Cultivation

In frost-free areas, grow outdoors in moderately fertile, well-drained, neutral to alkaline soil in full sun. Prefers clay. Tolerates extreme heat, drought, coastal winds, seasonally moist soil, and saline conditions. Will tolerate light frost when mature. Under glass, grow in loam-based compost in full light. Fibrous twigs are used as toothbrushes. Most parts are used in traditional, herbal medicine. In growth, water freely and feed monthly; sparingly in winter.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Well-drained

Soil pH

Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

South, West

Exposure

Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Indoor unheated (H2)

Companion plants

We do not currently have companion plants added for this plant.

Botanical name

Salvadora persica

Other names

Toothbrush tree, Salvadora indica, Mustard tree, Arak, Jhak, Pilu, Meswak, Saltbush, Peelu

Genus

Salvadora Salvadora

Species

S. persica - S. persica is a tender, spreading, evergreen shrub or small tree with fleshy, narrowly ovate to broadly lance-shaped, grey-green leaves and panicles of tiny, yellow flowers from winter into spring followed by spherical, semi-translucent, fleshy, edible, red fruit.

Native to

Africa, Arabian Peninsula, Middle East

Foliage

Evergreen

Habit

Spreading

Toxicity

Though used for centuries in traditional, herbal medicine, may be toxic in large quantities.


Colour

Flower

Golden-yellow in Spring

Foliage

Grey-green, Bright-green in All seasons


How to care

Watch out for

Pests

Generally pest free. Resistant to deer.

Specific pests

Bark borer , Glasshouse red spider mite , Mealybugs

Specific diseases

Root rot

General care

Pruning

May need restrictive pruning if grown under glass.

Propagation

Seeds require pre-treatment. Remove pulp. Soak in water for 12-24 hours. After soaking, sow with gentle heat. In frost-free areas, direct sow when ripe.

Propagation methods

Seed, Semi-ripe cuttings


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Salvadora persica (Toothbrush tree) will reach a height of 8m and a spread of 8m after 20-50 Years.

Suggested uses

Bees (attract & feed bees), Desert garden/Xeriscaping, Drought Tolerant, Greenhouse, Hedging/Screens, Mediterranean, Specimen tree, Wallside and trellises, Wind-breaker

Cultivation

In frost-free areas, grow outdoors in moderately fertile, well-drained, neutral to alkaline soil in full sun. Prefers clay. Tolerates extreme heat, drought, coastal winds, seasonally moist soil, and saline conditions. Will tolerate light frost when mature. Under glass, grow in loam-based compost in full light. Fibrous twigs are used as toothbrushes. Most parts are used in traditional, herbal medicine. In growth, water freely and feed monthly; sparingly in winter.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Well-drained

Soil pH

Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

South, West

Exposure

Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Indoor unheated (H2)

USDA zones

Zone 11, Zone 10

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Soil types: Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types) Tell us...
Soil drainage: Well-drained Tell us...
Soil pH: Alkaline, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: South, West Tell us...
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