Tamarisk (Tamarix) are graceful hardy shrubs, remarkably distinct in their feathery growth and pale pink flowers, produced in succession by the various kinds from May to October. No other woody plants we can grow in the open air give the same fine effect, yet they are often neglected owing to our way of mixing things together without regard to soil, exposure, and position. Lost in the jumble of the shrubbery they never give good effect, and often perish outright from the encroachments of hungry neighbors, but grouped apart with free air and space they are among the most graceful of shrubs.
Growing and Propagating Tamarix
For the seashore tamarisk has no equal. Thriving in pure sand and shingle, their fine branches split up the wind and the health-like foliage is indifferent to the salt spray.
These plants are readily increased from soft cuttings rooted under glass, ripened cuttings which root in the open air, and even thick branches, which often root like a willow if planted deeply while quite fresh.
We are richer in names than in distinct kinds, for the same shrubs in slightly differing forms have been named over and over again in nurseries, and some of the species run so closely together that even botanists are puzzled. The following kinds are distinct.
Descriptions of Tamarisk Varieties
Tamarix Chinensis - A recent introduction. It is not quite so hardy as our native kind, though like it in many respects. It has very plumose branches, and is a most graceful shrub with pink flowers.
French Tamarisk (Tamarix Gallica) - Is found wild on the south-west coast of England, in France, and N. Africa. It is a shrub 5 to 10 feet high, or in N. Africa a tree 30 feet high or more. The flowers are pale pink, and borne on short cylindrical spikes in summer. T. anglica is one of the forms of this species, which varies much in different parts of its area.
Kashgar Tamarix (Tamarix Hispida) - This species is from C. Asia, and is distinct, the foliage being of a bluish-green color. It flowers in autumn. A seedling form of this, aestivalis, differs widely again from the parent, being taller and more vigorous in growth, with flowers from July, or a full two months earlier. It is also of easier increase, and very desirable because of its season of flower.
Tamarix Odessana - A new kind, with soft grey-green foliage and handsome spikes of large rosy-white flowers. South-east of Europe and Asia Minor.
Tamarix Tetrandra - Very like T. gallica in general appearance, but distinguished by having four instead of five anthers. It is quite hardy, growing and flowering freely near London. The flowers are pinkish-white. Caucasus.
Tamarisk Adds Delicate Beauty to the Landscape
Tamarisks, when grouped together, create a spot of ethereal beauty with their delicate foliage and sprays of soft pink flowers. If you have a sandy spot in your landscape where other plants fail to thrive, tamarisk could be the right choice to bring that area to life.