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saltcedar (Tamarix ramosissima)
ODA rating: B and T
 
USDA Symbol: TARA
Oregon salt cedar distribution
 
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Images courtesy of Dan Sharratt, Oregon Dept. of Agriculture

 
If images are downloaded and used from the ODA web site please be sure to credit the photographer.
 
Description
Perennial shrub; blooms April to October. Grows 5 to 20 ft tall. Bark on saplings and stems reddish-brown. Leaves small and scale-like on highly branched, slender stems. Flowers pink to white, 5-petaled.
 
Impacts
Saltcedar is an escaped ornamental and has become naturalized along streams, canals, and reservoirs in much of the arid West. Dense stands form adjacent to springs and waterways, robbing native plants of much needed water. Large plants can transpire at least 200 gallons of water per day and will often dry up ponds and streams. Saltcedar accumulates salt in its tissues, which is later released into the soil, making it unsuitable for many native species. Although it provides some shelter, the foliage and flowers of saltcedar provide little food value for native wildlife species that depend on nutrient-rich native plant resources.
 
Introduction
Introduced from Eurasia is now widespread in the United States.
 
Distribution
 
Biological controls
No approved biological control agent is current available. However, one leaf-eating beetle has become successfully established at research sites in Oregon and should be available for widespread release soon.
Diorhabda elongata