Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.



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.



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.


T. gallica L.

Shrub or tree < 8 m
Leaf 1.5–2 mm, linear to narrowly lanceolate, acute
Inflorescence: spike 2–5 cm; bract oblong to lanceolate, acute to acuminate
Flower: sepals 0.5–1 mm, ovate, acute, outer slightly < inner; petals 1.5–2 mm, elliptic to ovate; nectar disk lobes longer than wide, confluent with filaments
Ecology: Uncommon. Washes, flats, roadsides
Elevation: < 300 m.
Bioregional distribution: s North Coast Ranges, San Joaquin Valley, San Francisco Bay Area, South Coast, n Mojave Desert (Death Valley)
Distribution outside California: to Texas; native to s Europe
Flowering time: Jun–Aug
Plants with outer sepals narrower than inner, petals sometimes > 2 mm, have been called T. africana Poiret; native to Africa.

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