|Tamarix subsp. var.||Tamarisk, Salt Cedar|
Tamarix is a genus of shrubs and small trees, commonly known as tamarisks or saltcedars.
The genus Tamarix (tamarisk, salt cedar) comprises about 50-60 species of flowering plants in the family Tamaricaceae, native to drier areas of Eurasia and Africa. The generic name originated in Latin and may have referred to the Tamaris River in Hispania Tarraconensis (Spain).
They are evergreen or deciduous shrubs or trees growing to 1-18 m in height and forming dense thickets. The largest, Tamarix aphylla, is an evergreen tree that can grow to 18 m tall. They usually grow on saline soils, tolerating up to 15,000 ppm soluble salt and can also tolerate alkali conditions. Tamarisks are characterized by slender branches and grey-green foliage. The bark of young branches is smooth and reddish-brown. As the plants age, the bark becomes bluish-purple, ridged and furrowed. The leaves are scale-like, 1-2 mm long, and overlap each other along the stem. They are often encrusted with salt secretions. The pink to white flowers appear in dense masses on 5-10 cm long spikes at branch tips from March to September, though some species (e.g. T. aphylla) tend to flower during the winter.
Tamarix can spread both vegetatively, by adventitious roots or submerged stems, and sexually, by seeds. Each flower can produce thousands of tiny (1 mm diameter) seeds that are contained in a small capsule usually adorned with a tuft of hair that aids in wind dispersal. Seeds can also be dispersed by water. Seedlings require extended periods of soil saturation for establishment. Tamarix species are fire-adapted, and have long tap roots that allow them to intercept deep water tables and exploit natural water resources. They are able to limit competition from other plants by taking up salt from deep ground water, accumulating it in their foliage, and from there depositing it in the surface soil where it builds up concentrations temporarily detrimental to some plants. The salt is washed away during heavy rains. Tamarix trees are most often propagated by cuttings.
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Tamarix (ancient Latin name). Tamaricaceae. Tamarisk. Ornamental woody plants, grown chiefly for their showy panicles or racemes of pink or whitish flowers; and also for their very fine graceful foliage.
Deciduous shrubs or trees: lvs. alternate, sessile, often sheathing, small, and scale-like: fls. small, short-pedicelled or sessile, in rather dense racemes, usually collected into terminal panicles; sepals and petals 4-5; stamens usually 4-5, rarely 8-12, sometimes slightly connate at the base; ovary 1-celled, surrounded at the base by a more or less deeply 5- or 10-lobed disk; styles 2-5, clavate or short and thick: fr. a caps., dehiscent into 3-5 valves; seeds many, minute, with a tuft of hairs at the apex.—About 75 species from the Medit. region to E. India and Japan. Several species have medicinal properties and yield dye-stuffs. The punctures of an insect, Coccus manniparus, cause T. mannifera to produce "manna."
The tamarisks are very graceful shrubs or small trees with slender branches clothed with minute scale-like appressed leaves, and with usually light pink small flowers in large and loose terminal panicles or in numerous lateral racemes, followed by small capsular fruits. None of the species is quite hardy North, but T. pentandra, T. odessana, T. gallica, and T. parviflora are fairly hardy as far north as Massachusetts. Several of the species bloom late in summer and are a welcome addition to the autumn-flowering shrubs. As they are inhabitants of warmer arid regions, they are adapted for dry-land conditions, and they also grow well in saline and alkaline soil. They are excellent for seaside planting and thrive in the very spray of the salt water. Propagation is by seeds, which are very fine and should be only slightly covered, or usually by cuttings of ripened wood in the open ground or by greenwood cuttings under glass.
T. africana, Poir. Allied to T. juniperina. Racemes 2-3 in. long: fls. very short-pedicelled: styles slenderer. Medit. region. Apparently not in cult.; the plant offered in trade under this name is usually T. parviflora.—T. algerica or T. algeriensis, Hort., is probably T. gallica; no species has been described under these names. The Algerian species are: T. gallica, Linn., T. brachystylis, Gay, T. bounopaea, Gay, T. africana, Poir., T. Balansae, Gay, T. rubella, Battand., T. pauciovulata, Gay, and T. articulata, Vaht.—T. anglica, Webb. Allied to T. gallica. Shrub, to 10 ft.: lvs. bluish green, somewhat constricted at the base: fls. ovate in bud; filaments filiform at the base, attached to the acute lobes of the 5-angled disk. W. Eu. S.E.B. 2:261.—T. articulata, Vahl. Tree, attaining 30 ft., with slender, jointed branches: lvs. glaucous, minute, sheathing: fls. 5-merous, pink, sessile, in terminal panicles. W. Asia. Not hardy N.—T. dahurica, Willd.-Myricaria dahurica. —T. germanica, Linn.-Myricaria germanica.—T. rubella, Battand. Allied to T. parviflora. Tree or shrub with red erect branches: lvs. minute, imbricate: bracts ovate, acute, almost as long as calyx; calyx-segms. 4; petals 4, rose; stamens 4, with long filaments and dark purple anthers. Algeria.
Tamarix can spread both vegetatively, by adventitious roots or submerged stems, and sexually, by seeds. Tamarix trees are most often propagated by cuttings.
Pests and diseases
- ↑ Baum, Bernard R. (1978), "The Genus Tamarix", The Israel Academy of Science and Humanities
- ↑ Quattrocchi, Umberto (2000). CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names. 4 R-Z. Taylor & Francis US. pp. 2628. ISBN 9780849326783. http://books.google.com/books?id=2ndDtX-RjYkC&.