Saltcedar (tamarisk) is a perennial shrub or small tree, growing from 3 – 20 feet in height. This non-native plant originated in Eurasia, and was most likely brought to the United States as a beautiful ornamental plant.
Saltcedar reproduces by seeds, root sprouts or buried stems. The mature plant has a deep extensive taproot. Seeds are minute in size, and have been compared in size to ground black pepper. The seeds are spread by wind or water.
The saltcedar shrubs thrive along river or stream banks, lake shores, or flood plains. This plant uses a large amount of water, and dense stands may cause springs and small streams to dry up. They are able to tolerate alkaline and saline conditions.
Showy foliage made saltcedar a very popular ornamental plant in yards and gardens across our state. The flowers range from white to deep pink, and flower from April to September.
Saltcedar has little forage value for livestock or wildlife. It does provide nectar and pollen for bees, and nesting cover for morning doves. It is not poisonous.