T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Tamarix parviflora (Small flower tamarisk)

Kingdom:   Plantae
(unranked):        Angiosperms
(unranked):        Eudicots
(unranked):        Core eudicots
Order:       Caryophyllales
Family:      Tamaricaceae
Genus:      Tamarix
Species:     T. parviflora
Binomial name:  Tamarix parviflora
Synonym:  Tamarix cretica
Common name: Small flower tamarisk, Early tamarisk, Salt cedar

Tamarix parviflora is a species of deep-rooted, multi-stemmed, wide spreading, deciduous shrub or small tree growing up to 5 meters tall. It is native to south-eastern Europe including Turkey, Crete, Greece and the Balkan states. In some countries like western North America it is an invasive introduced species. It easily inhabits moist habitats, especially in saline soils where it will forms dense thickets.
The bark is smooth, reddish brown, numerous horizontal lenticels and will develop shallow splits.
The branching twigs are covered in tiny linear leaves no more than 2 or 3 millimetres long. These leaves have tiny glands that secrete salt, hence the common name "salt cedar."
The inflorescences which appear early summer are dense flower spikes >5 centimetres long. Each tiny flower has four rose pink petals (unlike other Tamarix which have 5 petals).
The fruit are small, dry, brown, pointed capsules 3.2 mm long and contain numerous cottony seeds. They ripen during summer.