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Tamarix aphylla - (L.)H.Karst.
Common Name Athel Tamarisk
Family Tamaricaceae
USDA hardiness 7-10
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Wadis in hot desert areas in salty and non-salty habitats.
Range W. Asia to N.E. Africa.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Frost Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun


Tamarix aphylla Athel Tamarisk

Tamarix aphylla Athel Tamarisk
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of lolypop
Tamarix aphylla is a deciduous Tree growing to 10 m (32ft 10in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 8. It is in flower in July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline and saline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

T. articulata. T. orientalis.

Woodland Garden Canopy; Secondary; Hedge;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Manna.
Edible Uses: Drink.

A sweet manna-like substance that forms on the twigs is used to adulterate cane sugar[177, 183]. It can also be eaten with porridge etc or mixed with water to make a refreshing drink[183].
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Astringent;  Bitter.

The galls are astringent[240]. The bark is astringent and bitter[240].
Other Uses
Hedge;  Hedge;  Tannin.

Very tolerant of maritime exposure, it makes a good shelter hedge in coastal gardens[229]. Galls produced on the twigs and flowers (probably as a result of insect activity[K]) contain up to 55% tannin[223]. The wood has been used for fuel[257].
Cultivation details
An easily grown plant, succeeding in most soils and tolerant of saline conditions[11]. Grows well in heavy clay soils as well as in sands and even shingle[182]. Usually found near the coast, it succeeds inland if given a fairly good deep loam and a sunny position[11, 200]. Tolerant of maritime winds and dry soils when grown near the coast[11], plants require a moister soil and shelter from cold drying winds when they are grown inland in non-saline soils because they use the soil salts that are found in saline soils to help them reduce transpiration[200]. This species is not very hardy outdoors in Britain[1], but it succeed in the milder areas of the country, tolerating temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c[200]. This species flowers on the current year's growth[200]. Any pruning is best carried out in spring, hedges are also best trimmed at this time[188]. Plants are tolerant of severe pruning, sprouting freely from old wood[K]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200].
Seed - sow spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Very easy[200]. Cuttings of mature wood of the current seasons growth, 15 - 25cm long, planted outdoors in late autumn in a nursery bed or straight into their permanent position. High percentage[11, 200].

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Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Tamarix africanaAfrican tamarisk00
Tamarix anglicaEnglish Tree11
Tamarix canariensisTamarisk, Canary Island tamarisk10
Tamarix chinensisChinese Tamarisk, Five-stamen tamarisk02
Tamarix gallicaManna Plant, French tamarisk12
Tamarix hispidaKashgar Tree00
Tamarix juniperina 00
Tamarix parvifloraSmall-Flowered Tamarisk00
Tamarix ramosissimaTamarisk, Saltcedar10
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Expert comment
Botanical References
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Readers comment
Elizabeth H.
Elizabeth Powell Tue Oct 26 20:04:46 1999
Dear Plants for a Future-

While researching the internet for information on Athel- Tamarix aphylla- I found your website and information on cultivation of athel. I wondered if you were aware that athel is a weed in many parts of the world and that suggesting that people grow it could be considered reasonably irresponsible. It is one of the major weeds of Western Australia and we are beginning to find it along rivers and lakes where we don't want it in Western U.S.- it spreads rapidly and is very expensive to get rid of. It was orignally planted as a shade tree- and populations remained stable for a long period of time, but now it starting to spread to remote areas. I am a botanist for Lake Mead National Recreation Area, in Nevada USA and we are just now recognizing what a monster we have unleased on our park. Sincerely, Elizabeth Powell

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Subject : Tamarix aphylla  

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