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Federal Noxious Weed
TDA Noxious Weed
TPWD Prohibited Exotic Species
Invasive Plant Atlas of the US

NOTE: means species is on that list.

Tamarix africana


African tamarisk

Synonym(s):
Family: Tamaricaceae (Tamarisk Family)
Duration and Habit: Perennial Tree


Photographer: A. Fabiao
Source: Centro de Inform

Description

Salt cedar plants are spreading shrubs or small trees, 5-20 feet tall, with numerous slender branches and small, alternate, scale-like leaves. The pale pink to white flowers are small, perfect and regular, and arranged in spike-like racemes. The distinct petals and sepals occur in fours or fives. The fruit is a capsule (Hitchcock and Cronquist 1961).

Salt cedar (Tamarix) taxonomy is currently in a state of confusion. The number of species in the genus has fluctuated widely because members of the genus have few constant differentiating features, and taxonomists have disagreed over which features are most important. Eight species have been listed as introduced into the United States and Canada. These species can be effectively divided into two groups. Tamarix aphylla, an evergreen tree, does not sexually reproduce in this climate, so it is not seriously invasive. Deciduous, shrubby species, including T. pentandra, T. tetranda, T. gallica, T. chinensis, T. ramosissima, and T. parvifolia, as described by various authors, are more serious invasive threats (Rodman 1989). Some authors continue to distinguish many species, while others consider these shrubby plants as one variable species or hybridizing group best designated by the single name T. pentandra (Sudbrock 1993).

Native Lookalikes: Currently no information available here yet, or there are no native Texas species that could be confused with African tamarisk.

Ecological Threat:

Biology & Spread:

History: It is believed that nurserymen on the east coast made the first introduction of saltcedar to North America in 1823. Saltcedar appeared on the west coast, where it was apparently brought in from eastern nurseries. It was planted as an ornamental in the western United States, but by the 1870?s, it was reported to have escaped cultivation. By the 1920?s, saltcedar was becoming a serious problem, spreading rapidly through the watersheds of the southwest (Brotherson and Winkel 1986).

U.S. Habitat: Seedlings establish most frequently in soils that are seasonally saturated at the surface. It appears to grow best in saline soils (up to 15,000 ppm sodium), but saltcedar is adaptable and tolerant of a wide variety of environmental conditions (Brotherson and Field 1987).

Distribution

U.S. Nativity: Introduced to U.S.

Native Origin: Meditteranean region (Alfred Rehder, Manual of Cultivated Trees and Shrubs: Hardy in North America, The MacMillan Co., New York (1967)); NatureServe Explorer

U.S. Present: AZ, CA, LA, SC, TX

Distribution in Texas: The genus Tamarix is native to a zone stretching from southern Europe and north Africa through the Middle East and south Asia to China and Japan. There are a few species in disjunct parts of Africa (Rodman 1989). Saltcedar is now established in many moist spots in the desert regions of the western United States (Hitchcock and Cronquist 1961).

Mapping

Invaders of Texas Map: Tamarix africana
EDDMapS: Tamarix africana
USDA Plants Texas County Map: Tamarix africana

Invaders of Texas Observations

List All Observations of Tamarix africana reported by Citizen Scientists

Native Alternatives

Management

USE PESTICIDES WISELY: ALWAYS READ THE ENTIRE PESTICIDE LABEL CAREFULLY, FOLLOW ALL MIXING AND APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS AND WEAR ALL RECOMMENDED PERSONAL PROTECTIVE GEAR AND CLOTHING. CONTACT YOUR STATE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOR ANY ADDITIONAL PESTICIDE USE REQUIREMENTS, RESTRICTIONS OR RECOMMENDATIONS. MENTION OF PESTICIDE PRODUCTS ON THIS WEB SITE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE ENDORSEMENT OF ANY MATERIAL.

Text References

Hitchcock, C.L. and A. Cronquist. 1961. Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest. Volume 3: Saxifragaceae to Ericaceae. University of Washington Press, Seattle.

Hitchcock, C.L. and A. Cronquist. 1961. Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest. Volume 3: Saxifragaceae to Ericaceae. University of Washington Press, Seattle.

Sudbrock, A. 1993. Tamarisk control. I. Fighting Back: An overview of the invasion, and a low-impact way of fighting it. Restoration and Management Notes 11: 31-34.

Brotherson, J.D. and V. Winkle. 1986. Habitat relationships of saltcedar (Tamarix ramosissima) in central Utah. Great Basin Naturalist. 46: 535-541

Rodman, J. 1989. Reflections on Tamarisk bashing. Proceedings of the First Annual Meeting of the Society for Ecological Restoration.

Brotherson, J.D. and D, Field. 1987. Tamarix: Impacts of a successful weed. Rangelands 9: 110-112.

Online Resources

Search Online

Google Search: Tamarix africana
Google Images: Tamarix africana
NatureServe Explorer: Tamarix africana
USDA Plants: Tamarix africana
Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States: Tamarix africana
Bugwood Network Images: Tamarix africana

Last Updated: 2006-10-09 by LBJWFC
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