tamarisk

[tam-uh-risk]
noun
1.
any Old World tropical plant of the genus Tamarix, especially 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.

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English tamariscus < Late Latin, variant of Latin tamarix, perhaps of Hamitic orig.

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Collins
World English Dictionary
tamarisk (ˈtæmərɪsk)
 
n
any of various ornamental trees and shrubs of the genus Tamarix, of the Mediterranean region and S and SE Asia, having scalelike leaves, slender branches, and feathery clusters of pink or whitish flowers: family Tamaricaceae
 
[C15: from Late Latin tamariscus, from Latin tamarix]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

tamarisk
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).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Easton
Bible Dictionary

Tamarisk definition


Heb. 'eshel (Gen. 21:33; 1 Sam. 22:6; 31:13, in the R.V.; but in A.V., "grove," "tree"); Arab. asal. Seven species of this tree are found in Palestine. It is a "very graceful tree, with long feathery branches and tufts closely clad with the minutest of leaves, and surmounted in spring with spikes of beautiful pink blosoms, which seem to envelop the whole tree in one gauzy sheet of colour" (Tristram's Nat. Hist.).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

tamarisk

(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

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Lush tamarisk, willows, and reeds line-and in spots choke-the channel.
Along the shores, tamarisk and coyote willow choke riverbanks that pre-dam
  floods once purged of vegetation.
The use of prescribed fire and mechanical removal as means of control of
  tamarisk trees.
Learn what the park is doing to control and remove tamarisk in order to allow
  native vegetation to recover.
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