Tamarisks, also known as “salt cedars,” are European, Asian and North African shrubs adapted to saline and alkaline soils. They are thicket-forming shrubs with light green, scale-like leaves and airy clusters of light pink flowers.
How does it spread?
Tamarisks spread by large quantities of tiny seeds that are dispersed by wind and water They may also be spread by stem and roots fragments and are still planted as ornamentals. A mature plant can grow 2-3 m in height and produce seed capsules that can produce millions of tufted seeds annually. Seeds can lie dormant and remain viable up to 20 years in soil.
Where would I find it?
Tamarisks prefer moist soil located in pastures and rangeland, waste areas, natural and artificial drainage areas, banks and rivers, streams, near lakes, coastal areas and salt flats.
What problems does it cause?
Tamarisks have escaped cultivation into riparian areas where they send deep roots into the ground that deplete water resources. Additionally, stems and leaves secrete salt derived from deep in the soil, depositing it at the surface where it can inhibit the growth of other plants. Tamarisks are a major concern, as they are now the dominant riparian species over much of southwestern North America.
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