In The Field and Farm
For larger gardens and open spaces, a range of succulent plants can play an important role.
The genera Carpobrotus, Tetragonia, Sesuvium,Trianthema and Disphyma are well recognised and used effectively for erosion control in and around sandy or saline soils.
Once established most of these plants can withstand a certain level of dryness (often well beyond that of most other garden plants).
Halophytic chenopods, in particular Halsosarcia, Sarcocornia and Tecticornia have the potential to be used for reclaiming salt-degraded farm land.
They have adapted to tolerate many environmental extremes, besides salinity, notably aridity, and yet very little is known about most of the Australian species.
Various species of Maireana are highly regarded for use in saline-damaged soils.
They quickly colonize cultivated or disturbed soils in their range and are therefore also worthwhile plants for soil stabilisation in rehabilitation work.
Some Maireana are known to have fire-retardant properties, probably due to the very succulent leaves that do not burn readily.
Most species are also very drought-tolerant and provide both food and water to a range of animals during these dry periods.
The bottle tree Brachychiton rupestris is possibly Australia's most valuable tree. In recent years some farmers have been planting this species in fields (as pictured below) to sell to the nursery and landscaping trade, where demand is sky-rocketing. Advanced plants, or any with a trunk exceeding 20 cm in diameter, are considered a prize in any landscape or courtyard, increasing in value and making a great investment. Trees at any size can be moved and larger mature ones are regularly sold for $10,000-$20,000.