- Tamarix chinensis, T. ramosissima
Tamarisk (Tamarix chinensis), also known as salt cedar, is a shrub-like tree which has become invasive to riparian areas. This is aggressive woody shrub is known to produce dense stands around riparian areas which over crowd native vegetation. The term 'salt cedars comes from its ability to secrete salt from its leaves, which prevents the growth of any native vegetation within its range.
Currently, tamarisk is only located in several small isolated pockets along the BC and U.S. border. Within BC, tamarisk can be found in full sun, moist environments with saline or alkaline soil conditions. Tamarisk can be identified by its small shrubby tree like appearance, small whitish pink flowers and small scaly leaves.
With hundreds of thousands of seeds produced from one tree, tamarisk is easily spread via seed dispersal as well as underground plant stems. Along with increasing the saline of soil, tamarisk uses its roots to deplete the waterbodies of the riparian areas they inhabit.
This species has continues to cause harmful damage to natural riparian vegetation all over the Southwestern U.S—prevention is key in BC to avoid further damage. Please don't plant tamarisk as an ornamental species on your property; instead be ‘PlantWise’ and choose a non-invasive alternative species.