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PlantFiles: Fivestamen Tamarisk, Salt Cedar
Tamarix chinensis

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Family: Tamaricaceae
Genus: Tamarix (TAM-uh-riks) (Info)
Species: chinensis (chi-NEN-sis) (Info)

Synonym:Tamarix elegans
Synonym:Tamarix juniperina

Category:
Trees

Height:
12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)
15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)
20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

Spacing:
20-30 ft. (6-9 m)
30-40 ft. (9-12 m)
over 40 ft. (12 m)

Hardiness:
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

Danger:
N/A

Bloom Color:
Pale Pink
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer

Foliage:
Unknown - Tell us

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)
8.6 to 9.0 (strongly alkaline)
over 9.1 (very alkaline)

Patent Information:
Non-patented

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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Thumbnail #7 of Tamarix chinensis by Xenomorf

There are a total of 14 photos.
Click here to view them all!

Profile:

1 positive
2 neutrals
4 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Positive alfu On Jun 29, 2010, alfu from Gainesville, FL wrote:

I get tired of seeing people parrot the same tired superstitions.

There is no other tree that can reclaim the eroded canyons of the American southwest like the Tamarisk. I have done extensive canyon scrambling in California, New Mexico and Arizona, and have seen Tamarisk populations arrest the flow of other organics such as tree trunks and other debris to build soil and habitat for insects and fungi in arroyos, and provide shade, where other native plants are simply blasted to bits by the cascade of water and boulders that crash down during flash floods.

Tamarisks do not 'consume' up to 200 gallons of water a day; what they do with that water is put it up into the atmosphere. While this does deplete the immediately-surrounding water table, it ultimately adds to the atmospheric water battery that keeps fresh water from flowing down the arroyos to the sea, lost forever. That's just what trees do, and Tamarisk does it very well. Trees don't just happen because there is rain; rain also happens because there are trees.

They do not 'add' salt to the soil -- they bring it up closer to the surface, where the rain has more of a chance to wash it away, thereby ultimately improving the soil quality.

Neutral whyteboy_9 On Oct 10, 2009, whyteboy_9 from Pueblo, CO (Zone 6a) wrote:

All species of Tamarisk are invasive in most of the Western US, especially arid and semi-arid regions. The plants is also slated for eradication in the Arkansas and Purgatory watersheds of Pueblo, Fremont, Huerfano, Bent, Otero, Prowers, Baca, and Las Animas counties in Southeastern Colorado and is extremely invasive in the area along with Russian Olive.
I listed my experience as neutral because I grew up loving the beauty of both of these trees and the landscape I have alway loved will never be the same when the beautiful silvers, pinks, and soft greens of the riprarian areas cease to exist.Yet I know its for the best.

Negative frostweed On Dec 27, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Fivestamen Tamarisk, Salt Cedar Tamarix chinensis is naturalized in Texas and other States and is considered an invasive noxious plant in Texas.

Negative DanaDW On Feb 7, 2006, DanaDW from Pahrump, NV (Zone 8a) wrote:

Noxious weed in Nevada. Increases soil salinity, depletes groundwater resources, spreads rampantly and displaces other species. A single salt cedar can use up to 200 gallons of water per day.

After weighing the cost vs benifits I rented a backhoe and removed all on the property.

Negative PCMentor On Mar 2, 2005, PCMentor from Twentynine Palms, CA wrote:

This nice shady and screening tree a little like a Weeping Willow (two trunks actually) has destroyed my septic system. I have heard it can root a hundred yards for water.

Negative caron On Nov 25, 2004, caron from Woodland Park, CO (Zone 4b) wrote:

Colorado Class B Noxious Weed. Mandatory eradication in Jackson, Montrose and San Miguel counties as well as all counties in the San Luis Valley watershed.

Neutral Xenomorf On Jul 6, 2004, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

AKA, Salt Cedar

Regional...

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Cameron, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Pueblo, Colorado
Alice, Texas
Brownsville, Texas



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