Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Tamarix aphylla


SPECIES: Tamarix aphylla
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Tesky, Julie L. 1992. Tamarix aphylla. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [].

ABBREVIATION : TAMAPH SYNONYMS : Tamarix articulata Vahl. SCS PLANT CODE : TAAP COMMON NAMES : Athel tamarisk TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name for Athel tamarisk is Tamarix aphylla (L.) Karst. [2,11,16]. There are no recognized subspecies, varieties, or forms. LIFE FORM : Tree FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Tamarix aphylla
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Athel tamarisk is an introduced species native to Africa and the Middle East [1,16,20,21]. It has escaped cultivation in some areas of the United States but has not naturalized. It occurs from southern Texas to southern Arizona and California [1,16,20,31]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES21 Ponderosa pine FRES29 Sagebrush FRES30 Desert shrub FRES34 Chaparral - mountain shrub FRES35 Pinyon - juniper FRES40 Desert grasslands STATES : AZ CA HI NV NM TX UT BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : 3 Southern Pacific Border 6 Upper Basin and Range 7 Lower Basin and Range 12 Colorado Plateau 13 Rocky Mountain Piedmont 14 Great Plains KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K019 Arizona pine forest K023 Juniper - pinyon woodland K027 Mesquite bosque K033 Chaparral K034 Montane chaparral K038 Great Basin sagebrush K039 Blackbrush K040 Saltbrush - greasewood K041 Creosotebush K057 Galleta - threeawn shrubsteppe K059 Trans-Pecos shrub savanna K071 Shinnery SAF COVER TYPES : 68 Mesquite 95 Black willow 235 Cottonwood - willow 237 Interior ponderosa pine 238 Western juniper SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Athel tamarisk is sometimes found associated with the following species: screwbean mesquite (Prosopis pubescens), big saltbrush (Atriplex lentiformis), arrow-weed (Pluchea sericea), western honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa torreyana), desert saltbrush (Atriplex polycarpa), pickleweed (Allenrolfea occidentalis), and saltgrass (Distichlis spicata) [27,33].


SPECIES: Tamarix aphylla
WOOD PRODUCTS VALUE : Athel tamarisk wood is used for fuel. It produces a fragrant odor when burned [16]. The wood is fine grained, light colored, and capable of taking a high polish. It has been proposed for use in making furniture and fenceposts [2,16,21]. IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Tamarix spp. communities in general are less valuable to wildlife than are native riparian plant communities [12,30]. PALATABILITY : Tamarix spp. are relatively unpalatable to most classes of livestock and wildlife [5]. Athel tamarisk foliage contains phenolic acids which may prevent herbivory [32]. NUTRITIONAL VALUE : NO-ENTRY COVER VALUE : NO-ENTRY VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : Athel tamarisk is planted for windbreaks and shade [7,24]. It is frequently planted in desert areas [10,24]. Cuttings root best in moist, loose, low salinity soil [18]. OTHER USES AND VALUES : Athel tamarisk is planted as an ornamental from California to Texas [2]. Tamarix spp. flowers provide an important source of pollen for the European honeybee [14,15]. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Unlike the deciduous Tamarix spp., which have become serious weed species in the Southwest, Athel tamrisk seldom escapes cultivation and, therefore, rarely becomes a problem [9]. Where it is unwanted, Athel tamairsk may be controlled by cutting stumps and applying herbicide or mechanically excavating stumps followed by direct treatment of roots with herbicide [33].


SPECIES: Tamarix aphylla
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Athel tamarisk is a introduced, fast-growing, evergreen tree. It has a rounded or irregular, spreading crown of many heavy, stout branches and long, drooping twigs [2,16,31]. It attains a height of 33 to 60 feet (10-18 m) and may attain a diameter of 2.5 feet (0.8 m). The leaves are tiny scales 0.06 inch (1.5 mm) long. The twigs are wiry, very slender, and jointed. The bark becomes thick and deeply furrowed into long narrow ridges on the trunk and smooth on the branches [2,16,19,31]. Athel tamarisk has a deep taproot [33]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Phanerophyte (Mesophanerophyte) REGENERATION PROCESSES : Athel tamarisk flowers and produces many seeds, but most of the seeds are sterile [9,34]. Its main method of propagation is vegetative. It sprouts from the root crown or forms adventitous roots from submerged, broken or buried stems [9,18]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Where established outside of cultivation, Athel tamarisk commonly occurs on salt flats, springs, and other saline habitats especially along streams and rivers [22]. Athel tamarisk has been found along the saline portions of the lower Colorado and Gila rivers and in the Salton Sea Basin [27]. It also grows along irrigation ditches in bottomlands [2]. Athel tamarisk is a facultative phreatophyte [33]. It is drought resistant and is tolerant of alkaline and saline soils [16]. The minimum annual rainfall required for reasonable growth is less than 16 inches (400 mm) [26]. The elevational range for Athel tamarisk in California is from below sea level to 5,000 feet (1,524 m) [33]; in Texas it occurs from 1,850 to 2,000 feet (564-610 m) [22]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Information on the successional status of Athel tamarisk is lacking. It sprouts from on-site surviving root crowns in initial communities [9,26]. Although it does not colonize sites by seed, it can colonize disturbed areas by broken limbs carried by water [9,34]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Athel tamarisk generally flowers from March through August [16,25,29]. The fruit matures in late summer [16].


SPECIES: Tamarix aphylla
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Athel tamarisk is a fire-adapted species. The high ash (30-40%) and salt content of its foliage make it hard to burn even when dry. Athel tamarisk sprouts from the root crown after fire [26]. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : survivor species; on-site surviving root crown or caudex


SPECIES: Tamarix aphylla
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Athel tamarisk generally survives fire [26], although severe fire may destroy the root crown and prevent sprouting. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Athel tamarisk generally sprouts from the root crown after fire [26,33]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Because of the fire-resistant qualities of Athel tamarisk foliage, it is a good species for use in fire shelterbelts [26]. In very arid regions, Athel tamarisk can be killed by piling cut debris on the stumps and burning. This method resulted in 100 percent success rate in killing Athel tamarisk [4].


SPECIES: Tamarix aphylla
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In: Hughes, H. Glenn; Bonnicksen, Thomas M., eds. Restoration '89: the new management challenge: Proceedings, 1st annual meeting of the Society for Ecological Restoration; 1989 January 16-20; Oakland, CA. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Arboretum, Society for Ecological Restoration: 59-68. [14688] 25. Shreve, F.; Wiggins, Il. 1964. cc. cc. [18068] 26. Simpfendorfer, K. J.. 1989. Continuation of #17679 - Keywords. Lands and Forests Bull. No. 30. East Melbourne, Victoria, Australia: Lands and Forests Division, Department of Conservation, Forests and Lands. 55 p. [17680] 27. Turner, Raymond M.; Brown, David E. 1982. Sonoran desertscrub. In: Brown, David E., ed. Biotic communities of the American Southwest--United States and Mexico. Desert Plants. 4(1-4): 181-221. [2375] 28. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 1982. National list of scientific plant names. Vol. 1. List of plant names. SCS-TP-159. Washington, DC. 416 p. [11573] 29. Vines, Robert A. 1960. Trees, shrubs, and woody vines of the Southwest. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 1104 p. [7707] 30. Waring, Gwendolyn L. 1990. Developing shoreline communities and potential for natural vegetation in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Arizona-Utah. In: Boyce, Mark S.; Plumb, Glenn E., eds. National Park Service Research Center, 14th annual report. Laramie, WY: University of Wyoming, National Park Service Research Center: 73-75. [14918] 31. Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p. [2944] 32. Wisdom, Charles S.; Gonzalez-Coloma, Azucena; Rundel, Philip W. 1987. Phytochemical constituents in a Sonoran Desert plant community. In: Provenza, Frederick D.; Flinders, Jerran T.; McArthur, E. Durant, compilers. Proceedings--symposium on plant-herbivore interactions; 1985 August 7-9; Snowbird, UT. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-222. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 84-87. [7401] 33. Rowlands, Peter G. 1989. History and treatment of the salt cedar problem in Death Valley National National Monument. In: Kunzmann, Michael R.; Johnson, R. Roy; Bennett, Peter, technical coordinators. Tamarisk control in southwestern United States; 1987 September 2-3; Tucson, AZ. Special Report No. 9. Tucson, AZ: National Park Service, Cooperative National Park Resources Studies Unit, School of Renewable Natural Resources: 46-56. [11349] 34. Neill, William M. 1989. Volunteers play role in tamarisk control in desert riparian communities (California). Restoration and Management Notes. 7(1): 48. [8057]

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