Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains
20. Tamaricaceae, the Tamarisk Family
1. Tamarix L. -- Tamarisk, salt cedar
1. Tamarix ramosissima Ledeb.
Deciduous shrub 1-6 m tall, with reddish-brown bark and glaucous-green foliage.
Leaves sessile, alternate, small and scalelike, scattered on main shoots
but closely overlapping on short, lateral shoots, trullate, 1-5 mm long, acute
to acuminate, narrowed at the base. Inflorescences of terminal and lateral
bracteate racemes, these usually densely flowered and crowded on floriferous
branches, or those produced earliest usually simple and more loosely flowered,
1-7 cm long, 3-5 mm thick; bracts similar to the leaves, pink to pale;
pedicels shorter than the bracts. Flowers perfect, regular, hypogynous,
pink or fading to stramineous; sepals 5, spreading, broadly ovate, ca.
0.5 mm long, scarious and erose to denticulate on the margin; petals
5, obovate to elliptic-obovate, 1-1.9 mm long, persistent and pale with age;
stamens 5 or seldom more, arising from below and between the lobes of
a brown hypogynous disk, shorter than to surpassing the petals; pistil
flask-shaped, usually 3(-5)-carpellary and angled, styles 3(-5), clavate, deciduous,
ovary 1-celled. Fruit a conic, 3(-5)-valved, many-seeded capsule; seeds
tiny, erect, each with a tuft of hairs. Jun--Sep. Stream banks, floodplains,
ditches and alkaline or saline flats; scattered in the w and s parts where sometimes
locally common; (Intro. from Eurasia as an ornamental and now widely established
in the s and w U.S.). T. gallica L., misapplied.
Return to Family -- Tamaricaceae - The Tamarisk