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southern European evergreen shrub, c.1400, from Late Latin tamariscus, variant of tamarix, of unknown origin, probably a borrowing from a non-Indo-European language, perhaps related to Hebrew tamar "palm tree, date palm" (see tamarind).
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.).
(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