tamarisk

noun
tam·​a·​risk | \ ˈta-mə-ˌrisk How to pronounce tamarisk (audio) \

Definition of tamarisk

: any of a genus (Tamarix of the family Tamaricaceae, the tamarisk family) of deciduous large shrubs and small trees native to Asia and the Mediterranean region and widely naturalized in North America that have tiny, scalelike leaves and feathery racemes of small, white to pink flowers

Note: Tamarisks are often considered weeds in North America where they thrive especially in arid or semiarid regions.

To survive in arid areas where the groundwater is saline, tamarisks have evolved the ability to get rid of salt by pumping it out onto their leaves.— Josie Glausiusz tamarisk has been so successful that it is now the dominant plant in most desert riparian areas, blanketing more than a million acres in 15 states.— Sharon Cohoon

called also salt cedar

Examples of tamarisk in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There are thousands of acres along the Gila of closely packed tamarisk. Anton L. Delgado, The Arizona Republic, "Invasive tamarisk beetles reach the Gila River, defying predictions and raising concerns," 27 Aug. 2020 Shady Fremont cottonwoods, the dominant tree along the Salt River, fanned through the new water system, along with willows and tamarisk. Longreads, "The Ancient Waterways of Phoenix, Arizona," 10 Aug. 2020 In five states, including New Mexico and Texas, tamarisk is considered a noxious weed. Anton L. Delgado, The Arizona Republic, "Invasive tamarisk beetles reach the Gila River, defying predictions and raising concerns," 27 Aug. 2020 The federal government released tamarisk beetles, which are native to Asia, in Utah in the early 2000s as a way to control salt cedars there. Joshua Bowling, The Arizona Republic, "Progress is made to restore the Gila River's flow in metro Phoenix after decades of planning," 30 Aug. 2020 Cottonwoods, tamarisk and willows along the banks were felled and plants were cleared. Longreads, "The Ancient Waterways of Phoenix, Arizona," 10 Aug. 2020 Dead tamarisks can litter the ground with leaves and increase wildfire risks. Washington Post, "Tree-eating beetle gains ground in US West, raising concerns," 26 July 2019 The beetles would not be in the United States if not for the tamarisk that thrives along riverbeds. Washington Post, "Tiny beetles munch through endangered songbird habitat," 26 July 2019 Without native trees, flycatchers were left to seek new nesting sites in tamarisks. Washington Post, "Tree-eating beetle gains ground in US West, raising concerns," 26 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tamarisk.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of tamarisk

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tamarisk

Middle English tamarisc, from Late Latin tamariscus, from Latin tamaric-, tamarix

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The first known use of tamarisk was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Tamarisk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tamarisk. Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tamarisk

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