Tamarix ramosissima (Tamarisk Pink Cascade)
(Unranked): Core eudicots
Species: T. ramosissima
Binominal name: Tamarix ramosissima
Synonyms Tamarix odessana. Tamarix pallasii. Tamarix pentandra. pro parte.
Common names: Tamarisk, Tamarix, Saltcedar, Pink Cascade, Five-stamen tamarisk, Five-stamen tamarix
Tamarix ramosissima is a deciduous thicket-forming shrub or small tree shrub with arching branches and is a native to E. Asia - S. Russia and China growing up to an ultimate height 5-8m. It is a hardy shrub which likes saline soils. In some countries it has escaped cultivation and naturalized along riverbanks, waste areas and roadsides. In some warm winter climates, it has become a noxious weed forming dense impenetrable thickets.
Tamarix ramosissima is an unusual shrub because it features fine-textured, gray-green/green scale-like leaves, but is neither evergreen nor coniferous and it producing true flowers. These small pink 5-petaled flowers are on dense feathery racemes and appear on the new stems over a long early to mid-summer. The fruits are dry capsules that split open when ripe to release abundant seeds.
Tamarix ramosissima 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.
The 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.
Photo showing the small scalled leaves and the reddish branches.