Ajuntament de Barcelona

Tamarix africana

Miramar Garden and Camí dels Cims

    Catalan name: 
    Tamariu
    Spanish name: 
    Tamariz
    English name: 
    African tamarisk
    Botanical synonyms: 
    Tamarix dalmatica
    Observations: 

    According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the conservation status of this plant is least concern.

    Species characteristics
    Family: 
    Tamaricaceae
    Origin: 
    Western Europe
    Habitat: 
    Seasonal and fast-flowing streams, although it adaptes to near the sea salty places
    Characteristics: 

    Deciduous shrub, occasionally tree, 3-4 m tall, although it can reach 6 m, with long flexible branches. They are not very hanging, smooth, slightly bright and reddish dun or purple. The bark is dun and cracked.

    The very small scale-shaped leaves (1.5-4 mm) are entire, ovate and pointed. They encircle the inflorescences and as a whole remember a cypress.

    The tiny white or light pink flowers appear into very dense cylindric bunches 3-6 cm long.

    The fruits are capsules with three valves containing many seeds with a feathery pappus (structure making the spreading by the wind easier).

    Flowering time: 
    March-May
    Fruiting time: 
    October
    Uses and properties: 

    Tamarisk wood is very appreciated as a fuel and to settle dunes and dams. Its branches, very flexible, were traditionally used to make ferris wheels.

    It's very common in the Mediterranean seashore gardens because of its beauty and resilience to salinity and drought.

    History and curiosities: 

    The scientific name, Tamarix africana, comes from the genus name Tamarix, from the Latin tamarix, ancient Roman name of the plant, of doubtful etymology (perhaps from the river Tamaris of the Tarraconense province), and the Latin term africana, "African".

    For further information: 

    LÓPEZ GONZÁLEZ, Ginés A. Los árboles y arbustos de la Península Ibérica e Islas Baleares. (2 vol.) Madrid: Mundi-Prensa, 2001