tamarisk USDA PLANTS Symbol: TAMAR2
U.S. Nativity: Exotic
Habit: Shrub or Subshrub
Tamarix spp. L.

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Taxonomic Rank: Magnoliopsida: Violales: Tamaricaceae

Appearance
Tamarix spp, or salt cedar, is deciduous shrub that can grow up to 15 ft. (4.6 m) in height. The bark is smooth and reddish on younger plants, turning brown and furrowed with age.
Foliage
Leaves are small (0.06 in. [0.15 cm] long), scale-like, gray-green, and overlap along the stem. Leaves are often coated with salt crystals.
Flowers
Flowering occurs from March to September. Flowers are pink to white and develop in 2 in. (5.1 cm) long clusters (spikes) at the tips of the branches.
Fruit
The seeds are about 0.02 in. long x 0.007 in. wide(0.45 mm x 0.17 mm) and are held in a lance-ovoid capsule from 0.12-0.16 in. (3-4 mm) long.
Ecological Threat
Several species are considered invasive in the United States and distinguishing the species can often be difficult. Tamarix spp invades streambanks, sandbars, lake margins, wetlands, moist rangelands and saline environments. It can crowd out native riparian species, diminish early successional habitat and reduce water tables, thus interfering with hydrologic processes. The stems and leaves of mature plants secrete salt. These salt secretions inhibit the growth and development of other plants. A large, mature plant can absorb up to 200 gallons (757 L) of water a day! Tamarix spp is native to Eurasia and Africa and was introduced into the western United States as an ornamental in the early 1800s. It occurs throughout the western and central United States, but it is most problematic in the Southwest.

Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources

Selected Images from Invasive.orgView All Images at Invasive.org


Plant(s);
Tom Heutte, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Plant(s);
Tom Heutte, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Foliage;
Tom Heutte, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Foliage; Close-up of foliage and flower, Glenwood Canyon
William M. Ciesla, Forest Health Management International, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Plant(s);
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Plant(s);
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Flower(s);
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Flower(s);
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Foliage;
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Seed(s);
USDA PLANTS Database, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Flower(s); Flower clusters
John M. Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Foliage; Fall colors
John M. Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

EDDMapS Distribution:
This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts and records obtained from USDA Plants Database. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org
 


State(s) Where Reported invasive.
Based on state level agency and organization lists of invasive plants from WeedUS database.


Invasive Listing Sources: