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Saltcedar

Saltcedar closeup of flowersSaltcedarSaltcedarSaltcedar infestation along river

(Tamarix ramosissima and T. chinensis)

Common Names

Tamarisk,  saltcedar, tamarix, French tamarisk; small-flowered tamarisk

Description

Saltcedar is a pretty evergreen shrub that can grow up to fifty feet in height. As an invasive shrub, saltcedar can form dense thickets of vegetation, especially along waterways. Leaves resemble juniper leaves; they are scale-like, overlap each other along the stem and are gray-green in color. Stems of saltcedar are slender, light red or orange-colored and flowers are pale pink to white and form dense masses of 2 inch long spikes at the branch tip. Dense plumes of flowers bloom from early spring to late fall, and each plant can produce 600,000 seeds annually. Saltcedar reproduces by root and seeds which are dispersed through water and air. This plant prefers riparian areas, but can be found in drier soils as well.

Key Features

The evergreen shrub appearance and the showy pink flowers that bloom in clusters along tips of stems.

Habitat

Saltcedar is located along streams, waterways, bottom lands, banks and drainage washes of natural or artificial water bodies, moist rangelands and pastures, and other areas where seedlings can be exposed to extend periods of saturated soil for establishment. It has also been found in numerous ornamental locations in urban areas in western Montana. These areas are not typically riparian in nature.

Currently found in the following counties:

Beaverhead, Big Horn, Broadwater, Carbon, Carter, Custer, Dawson, Fallon, Flathead, Hill, Lake, Lewis & Clark, McCone, Meagher, Mineral, Missoula, Park, Petroleum,  Prairie, Ravalli, Richland, Rosebud, Sanders, Sheridan, Stillwater, Treasure, Valley, Wheatland,  Yellowstone.

IWM

Visit our library for additional articles on saltcedar.

Photo Credits: John M. Randall, The Nature Conservancy, www.bugwood.org; Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.; Joseph M. DiTomaso, University of California - Davis, www.bugwood.org

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