Tamarix ramosissima Ledeb.

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Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Tamarix ramosissima' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/tamarix/tamarix-ramosissima/). Accessed 2023-03-21.



  • T. pentandra Pall., in part, nom. illegit .
  • T. pallasii Desv., in part, nom. confus .
  • T. odessana Stev. ex Bunge


Division of a leaf or other object. lobed Bearing lobes.
Recess between two lobes or teeth on leaf margin.
Male reproductive organ of flower. Usually composed of an anther and a filament.


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Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Tamarix ramosissima' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/tamarix/tamarix-ramosissima/). Accessed 2023-03-21.

T. ramosissima, better known in gardens as T. pentandra, is a species of wide distribution, from southern Russia and Asia Minor through much of southwest and central Asia to China, usually on saline soils. From other cultivated species, except the closely related T. chinensis, it is distinguished by the following combination of characters: Flowers in racemes usually 2 in. or more long, arranged in panicles and usually borne in late summer on the new growths; sepals, petals and stamens five; disk five-lobed, but the lobes usually indented and thus apparently ten-lobed; stamens with slender filaments, inserted in the sinuses between the lobes (in T. africana and T. gallica each stamen is inserted on a lobe and separated from its neighbours by a sinus). T. ramosissima was at one time fairly common in gardens under the name T. odessana, but in this country at least its main representative is the following cultivar, better known as T. pentandra:


A shrub or small tree, becoming in time gaunt in habit, the very distinct plumose branches covered with pale green foliage. In their final subdivisions the branchlets are the thinnest of cultivated tamarisks, scarcely thicker than threads, but through its close branching, this species is the densest in habit. The larger leaves scattered on the thicker branchlets are {3/16} in. long, pointed, and ultimately decurved; they become smaller on each subdivision until, on the final ramifications they are about {1/32} in. long. Flowers bright pink in the bud state, paler after opening; produced in May on the twigs of the preceding season; racemes 1{1/2} to 2 in. long.It is the most graceful of hardy tamarisks, and is worth growing for the fine plumose effect of its branches, which stand out very prominently when associated with other shrubs, not only for their elegance but also for the peculiar freshness of their pale green. It has lived outside for many years at Kew, and forms a rugged trunk, but rarely flowers. It is cut back in hard winters.

'Rosea' ('Aestivalis')

A shrub or small tree, ultimately from 12 to 15 ft high, or upwards, with long, slender, plumose branches. Leaves very small, pointed, the largest {1/8} in. long, arranged at intervals along the flowering shoots; the smallest one-fifth as large, and crowded fifty or more to the inch. Flowers arranged densely in slender, sometimes branching racemes, 1 to 5 in. long, each tiny blossom {1/8} in. across, rosy pink; they cover the whole terminal part of the current year’s shoot, which is thus transformed during August into a huge plume-like panicle of blossom as much as 3 ft long. Bracts longer than the pedicels. Sepals microscopically toothed. Petals elliptic. Bot. Mag., t. 8138.This beautiful tamarisk is quite hardy, and one of the most pleasing of late-flowering shrubs. It should be planted in groups large enough for its soft rosy plumes to produce an effect in the distance. To obtain it at its best, it is necessary to cut it back every winter almost to the old wood. It then sends up the long slender branches which flower for six weeks or so in August and September. It is propagated with the greatest ease by making cuttings, 6 to 9 in. long, in early winter of the stoutest part of the season’s growth, and putting them in the ground out-of-doors like willows.This tamarisk was raised towards the end of the last century by Messrs Chenault of Orleans. It occurred in a seed-bed of T. hispida, and was originally sent out by them as “T. hispida aestivalis”. Dr Stapf of Kew identified it as the present species, but used for it first the confused name T. pallasii Desvaux, and later, in the Botanical Magazine, the equally confused name T. pentandra. He gave the Chenault plant the distinguishing epithet rosea, which is preferable to aestivalis as a cultivar-name, and was accepted by the raisers at the time.‘Rubra’ is a sport of ‘Rosea’, with darker pink flowers, and Messrs Jackman have raised and put into commerce ‘Pink Cascade’, a shrub of great vigour, bearing flowers of a slightly richer pink than in ‘Rosea’.T. chinensis Lour. T. gallica of some authors, not L.; T. juniperina Bge.; T. elegans Spach; T. indica Hort. ex Spach – Very closely allied to T. ramosissima, differing, according to Baum, in the ‘smaller, entire sepals, ovate petals and shorter bracts.’ (Fl. Europ., Vol. 2 (1968), p. 293). Also, whereas T. ramosissima normally bears its inflorescences on the season’s growths, T. chinensis has forms that produce them earlier in the season on the previous year’s wood, as in T. parviflora. These ‘vernal’ forms have generally been distinguished as a separate species – T. juniperina – while the forms flowering in late summer on the green wood have been confused with T. gallica. T. chinensis is a native of eastern and central Asia, introduced to Europe at an unknown date, but probably in the 18th century. It was certainly in European gardens by the 1830s. According to B. R. Baum, in his monograph on the genus, T. chinensis is widely naturalised in N. America, and it seems probable that some plants cultivated in Britain in coastal localities and usually identified as T. gallica are really this species (though some are no doubt the true T. gallica, and others its relative T. africana).The following vernal and almost sterile form of T. chinensis has been cultivated in Europe since the 1870s: