Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

 
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TAMARICACEAE

TAMARISK FAMILY

Dieter H. Wilken

Shrubs, trees, much-branched, often in saline habitats
Stem: trunk bark rough
Leaves alternate, sessile, entire
Inflorescence: racemes or spikes; bracts scale-like
Flower: sepals 4–6, generally free, overlapping; petals 4–5, overlapping, generally attached below nectary; stamens 4–10, attached to disk-like nectary; ovary 1-chambered, placentas parietal or basal, ovules 2–many, styles 2–5
Fruit: capsule, loculicidal
Seeds many, hairy
Genera in family: ± 5 genera, 100 species: Eurasia, Africa, especially Medit.

TAMARIX

TAMARISK


Stems green, glabrous; twigs jointed, slender, often drooping
Leaves on twigs, generally overlapping, awl- to scale-like, generally excreting salt
Inflorescences generally in panicle-like clusters on current or previous year's twigs
Flower: sepals generally 5, persistent; petals generally 5, deciduous to ± persistent, white to reddish; stamens generally 5, filaments alternate or confluent with nectar disk lobes; nectar disk 4–5-lobed; placentas basal, styles 3
Seeds hairy-tufted
Etymology: (Latin: Tamaris River, Spain)
Reference: [Baum 1967 Baileya 15:19–25]
Invasive weeds with deep roots that lower water table, especially along streams, irrigation canals. Most CA species cultivated for ornamental, windbreaks; some may hybridize.

Introduced

T. aphylla (L.) H. Karst.

ATHEL

Tree < 12 m
Leaves on twigs not overlapping, ± 2 mm, strongly clasping, abruptly pointed
Inflorescence: spike 2–6 cm; bract clasping, triangular, tip acuminate
Flower: sepals 1–1.5 mm, ± round, tip obtuse, entire, outer < inner; petals ± 2 mm, oblong to elliptic; nectar disk lobes wider than long; stamens alternate disk lobes
Ecology: Uncommon. Washes, roadsides
Elevation: < 200 m.
Bioregional distribution: San Joaquin Valley, e South Coast, Desert
Distribution outside California: to Texas; native to India, Africa
Flowering time: May–Jul

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