About sixty species of trees and shrubs, with deciduous or evergreen leaves, originating in Asia and the Mediterranean belong to the genus Tamarix; T. gallica is the most widespread species in cultivation, it is a small deciduous tree, which reaches 4-6 meters in height. It has an erect or inclined stem, with greyish bark, deeply wrinkled; the ramifications are dense and form a rounded crown. The young branches are very thin and flexible, often arched or pendulous; the leaves are very small in size, similar to small light green scales, sometimes almost bluish. At the beginning of spring the branches are filled with small ears of tiny pinkish flowers; the flowering is so abundant that the whole plant looks like a cloud of flowers. The flowers are followed by small capsule fruits containing the seeds. The tamarisk they have been cultivated for centuries on the Mediterranean coasts; thanks to the fact that they well tolerate winds and brackish water they are often used for the creation of windbreak hedges in coastal areas or even to solidify breakwaters. They can also be grown in pots or as bonsai.
The tamarisk is a beautiful, very decorative shrub, characterized by abundant flowering carried on its fine branches. Its natural habitat is the coasts. All tamarisk species are native to Europe, in particular to the Mediterranean regions, and Asia, more precisely to China. About 12 species are used in gardens, although the denominations and classifications are often a little confused due to the difficulty of identification (sometimes only possible thanks to a microscope).
Its cultivation is quite simple since it adapts well to different climates and soils. It is also very resistant to disease. It is therefore an excellent choice for those who want to insert a decorative plant but require little maintenance.