Saltcedar

Tamarix ramosissima

Saltcedar

Family: Tamaricaceae

Other Common Names: pink tamarisk
Weed class: B
Year Listed: 1999
Native to: Asia and Europe
Is this Weed Toxic?:

not known to be


Legal listings:

WA Quarantine list, WAC 16-750

Why Is It a Noxious Weed?

It is an aggressive colonizer that is able to adapt to a variety of habitats. It forms monotypic stands and secretes salt that forms a crust above and below ground that inhibits survival of other plants. It absorbs an enormous amount of water.

How would I identify it?

General Description

Saltcedar is a spreading shrub or small tree reaching 5 to 20 feet tall.

Flower Description

Flowers are pale pink to white, small and arranged in spike like racemes. Distinct petals and sepals occur in fours or fives.

Leaf description

Leaves are small, alternate and scale-like.

Stem description

Stems have numerous branches.

Fruit Seed Description

Saltcedar forms dry capsules that contain many seeds.

Where does it grow?

Saltcedar can adapt to a variety of habitats. It is commonly found in moist soils and areas that are seasonally saturated at the surface. Please click here to see a county level distribution map of saltcedar in Washington.

How Does it Reproduce?

Saltcedar spreads by seed and also re-sprouts vigorously from roots if the top portion of the plant is damaged or removed. It can also readily establish from cuttings when buried in moist soil.

How Do I Control It?

General Control Strategy

Saltcedar can be difficult to control because of its ability to resprout from roots. Effective control efforts utilize a combination of control methods.

Mechanical Control

Because of saltcedar's ability to resprout from roots, many mechanical methods are largely unsuccessful. Root plowing is possible if plowed 13.8 inches to 23.6 inches deep with a cutting blade equipped with fins to pull up roots and buried stems, but this method also destroys other vegetation as well.

Cultural Control

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Biological Control

The saltcedar leaf beetle Diorhabda elongata adults and larvae feed on saltcedar foliage. For more information about biological control of saltcedar, please visit WSU Extension Integrated Weed Control Project.

Herbicide Control

Please refer to the PNW Weed Management Handbook, or contact your county noxious weed coordinator.

For More Information

See our Written Findings for more information about saltcedar (Tamarix ramosissima).

Report on saltcedar from the book Weed Control in Natural Areas in the Western United States

Asotin County NWCB Fact Sheet on saltcedar

Stevens County NWCB Fact Sheet on saltcedar

Additional Photos