Tamarix spp. (R. Mueller)

Salt cedar

Tamarix spp.


  • Native to Northern Europe and temperate and tropical Asia.
  • Deciduous shrub/small tree
  • Introduced to the western United Statesin the 1800s for ornamental use
  • Foliage is bright green in summer. Leaves are diamond-shaped and scaly, resembling the leaves of a cedar tree. Leaves turn orange in the fall.
  • White-pink flowers grow in long clusters.
  • Grows especially well in fine-textured soils but can tolerate other soil conditions.
  • Shade intolerant.
  • Mainly found in riparian areas.
  • Reproduces by primarily by seed, but vegetative reproduction through fragmented roots or branches is also possible.
  • Produces 600,000 seeds per plant per year.
  • Recorded sites in Nelson, Trail and Montrose.

Consequences of invasion

  • Creates deep taproots which can access groundwater and uptake vast amounts of water.
  • This plant can interfere with the water cycle and increase the frequency, intensity and effect of fires and floods.
  • Invades streambanks, lakeshores and wetlands.
  • Crowds out native species such as willows and red osier dogwood.

Management options

  • Mechanical removal can be difficult since the plant can reproduce from small fragments
  • Chemical treatments are rarely suitable for this plant since it grows in riparian areas.
  • Select a non-invasive alternatives to invasive plants, see the PlantWise guide for informed purchases.
  • Avoid accidentally introducing non-native plants to surrounding water bodies by installing water gardens a safe distance away. Ensure water gardens are not allowed to overflow to wetlands, streams or rivers.
  • Properly dispose of garden and yard waste by double bagging and disposing of it at your local landfill.
  • Prevent plants from spreading from existing populations by washing vehicles, boots and animals that have been in infested areas.
  • Report plants infestations found in remote locations.

Status in the CKISS region

  • Salt cedar is classified as Insufficient Information on the CKISS Annual Priority List.
  • Insufficient information is available regarding the distribution, impacts, potential for spread and/or feasibility of control within the CKISS region.
  • CKISS conducts education regarding this species, and may recommend or conduct targeted inventories or risk assessments.
  • To learn more about how CKISS classifies and manages invasive species, see our Invasive Species Priority Lists page.

Additional resources