Tamarix Tamarisk

Tamarix is indigenous in the wastelands of southwest Europe, Mediterranean regions and Asia, and comprises about 90 species, of which only a few are sufficiently winter-hardy for this part of the world.

This is a deciduous or evergreen, woody-stemmed, graceful shrub or small tree, with arching shoots, scaly leaves growing close to the branches (restricts evaporation), and terminal clusters of flowers or spikes of flowers growing on the branches, consisting of countless pale pink to deep pink flowers with 4-5 sepals and petals, followed by fruits. T. parviflora is a vigorous shrub, 3-5 m tall, which flowers in April-May. It has arching, purplish-red shoots, pointed leaves and countless deep pink spikes of flowers with permanent petals; prune after flowering. T. ramossima (syn. T. odessana, T. pentandra) is a tree-like shrub, 3-5 m tall, which flowers from July-September. It has green shoots which turn purplish-red, bluish-green leaves and large, terminal plumes of pale pink flowers; prune in spring.

T. tetranda (syn. T. africana) is less winter-hardy and up to 3 m tall. It flowers profusely in April-May on one-year-old wood. It has graceful, arching shoots and bright pink plumes of flowers with petals which drop off; prune after flowering. This plant is suitable as a specimen plant, for training on a wall, or in groups against a green background. It can be grown in coastal regions (also as a hedge), in a sunny spot, in any well-drained soil that is not too acid. It is resistant to drought. Remove ugly and trapped branches. Propagate from winter cuttings.

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