Tamarix has some beautiful ornamental traits which include a smooth, reddish-brown bark, small, bluish-green, scale-like leaves, and tufts of tiny, pink, butterfly-attracting flowers.
More Information About Tamarix
Tamarix is a genus of more than 50 species of xeric, woody shrubs from Africa and Europe east into China and Japan. Eight species were brought into the US during the 1930s to be planted in the western states for erosion control and proved to be somewhat invasive in the West and displaced cottonwoods and willows along riparian areas from Texas to Montana and California.
Tamarix is quite well behaved in most of the US and makes a wonderful, drought-tolerant ornamental plant. One species is used most often in the East, T. ramosissima, aka salt cedar. This woody perennial has some beautiful ornamental traits which include a smooth, reddish-brown bark, small, bluish-green, scale-like leaves, and tufts of tiny, pink, butterfly-attracting flowers.
Tamarix (Salt Cedar) Growing Conditions
As its common name salt cedar implies, Tamarix is quite tolerant of salty environments and can grow near salt water or in salty soils. It also makes a great rain garden plant. Although T. ramosissima is technically a shrub, it is large enough that it can be pruned into a tree-form with one or many trunks. I also doubles as a garden perennial, and can easily be cut to the ground to enjoy the flowers at a lower level. Tamarix is a tough, easy-to-grow, attractive plant that provides both summer interest (leaves and flowers) and winter interest (bark).