/tam"euh risk/, n.
1. any Old World tropical plant of the genus Tamarix, esp. T. gallica, an ornamental Mediterranean shrub or small tree having slender, feathery branches.
2. a shrub or small tree, Tamarix chinensis, of Eurasia, having scalelike leaves and clusters of pink flowers, naturalized in the southwestern U.S., where it has become a troublesome weed.
[1350-1400; ME tamariscus < LL, var. of L tamarix, perh. of Hamitic orig.]

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▪ plant genus
 (genus Tamarix), any of 54 species of shrubs and low trees (family Tamaricaceae) that, with false tamarisks (Myricaria, 10 species), grow in salt deserts, by seashores, in mountainous areas, and in other semiarid localities from the Mediterranean region to central Asia and northern China. Many have been introduced into North America. They have deep-ranging roots and long, slender branches with numerous small, gray-green, scalelike leaves. Clusters of small pink flowers, hanging at the ends of branches or from the trunks, give the plants a feathery appearance. Each flower has 4 or 5 free sepals, 4 or 5 petals, and from 4 to 10 stamens. The petals and stamens arise from a fleshy disk. In Tamarix the stamens are separate; in Myricaria they are united. The fruit is a capsule with numerous seeds; each seed has a long tuft of hairs at one end.

      Tamarisks are valued for their ability to withstand drought, soil salinity, and salt-water spray. The salt cedar, or French tamarisk (T. gallica), is planted on seacoasts for shelter; it is cultivated in the United States from South Carolina to California. The Athel tree (T. aphylla), which sometimes grows to about 18 metres (60 feet), has jointed twigs and minute ensheathing leaves and is used as a windbreak in desert areas. T. ramosissima (or T. pentandra) and T. chinensis, with denser flower clusters, are frequently cultivated as ornamentals. Several species that have been introduced into western North America, however, are considered serious pests because they draw out scarce water with their deep roots and displace native species.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • TAMARISK — (Heb. אֵשֶׁל, eshel). Several species of the genus Tamarix grow wild in Israel. The tree resembles the cypress in that its leaves are very small and in one species are barely visible. Unlike the cypress, however, the tamarisk belongs to the… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Tamarisk — Tam a*risk, n. [L. tamariscus, also tamarix, tamarice, Skr. tam[=a]la, tam[=a]laka, a tree with a very dark bark; cf. tamas darkness: cf. F. tamarisc, tamarix, tamaris.] (Bot.) Any shrub or tree of the genus {Tamarix}, the species of which are… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • tamarisk — [tam′ə risk] n. [ME tamarisc < LL tamariscus, for L tamarix] any of a genus (Tamarix) of small trees or shrubs of the tamarisk family with slender branches and feathery flower clusters, common near salt water and often grown for a windbreak… …   English World dictionary

  • tamarisk — (n.) southern European evergreen shrub, c.1400, from L.L. tamariscus, variant of tamarix, of unknown origin, probably a borrowing from a non I.E. language, perhaps related to Heb. tamar palm tree, date palm (see TAMARIND (Cf. tamarind)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • tamarisk — ► NOUN ▪ a shrub or small tree with tiny scale like leaves borne on slender branches. ORIGIN Latin tamariscus, variant of tamarix …   English terms dictionary

  • tamarisk — UK [ˈtæmərɪsk] / US noun [countable] Word forms tamarisk : singular tamarisk plural tamarisks a large bush with stiff leaves and pink or white flowers …   English dictionary

  • tamarisk — prancūzinis eglūnas statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Eglūninių šeimos dekoratyvinis, vaistinis augalas (Tamarix gallica), paplitęs pietų Europoje. atitikmenys: lot. Tamarix gallica angl. French tamarisk; tamarisk vok. französische Tamariske; …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • tamarisk — noun Etymology: Middle English tamarisc, from Late Latin tamariscus, from Latin tamaric , tamarix Date: 14th century any of a genus (Tamarix of the family Tamaricaceae, the tamarisk family) of chiefly Old World desert shrubs and trees having tiny …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • tamarisk — [[t]tæ̱mərɪsk[/t]] tamarisks N COUNT A tamarisk is a bush or small tree which grows mainly around the Mediterranean and in Asia, and has pink or white flowers …   English dictionary

  • tamarisk — eglūnas statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Eglūninių (Tamaricaceae) šeimos augalų gentis (Tamarix). atitikmenys: lot. Tamarix angl. tamarisk vok. Tamariske rus. гребенщик; тамариск lenk. tamaryszek …   Dekoratyvinių augalų vardynas

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