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[tam-uh-risk] /ˈtæm ə rɪsk/
any Old World tropical plant of the genus Tamarix, especially T. gallica, an ornamental Mediterranean shrub or small tree having slender, feathery branches.
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; Middle English tamariscus < Late Latin, variant of Latin tamarix, perhaps of Hamitic orig. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for tamarisk
  • 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.
  • The aggressive tamarisk has spread throughout the southwest, growing thickly along streams, ponds and other seasonally-wet areas.
  • tamarisk has become established on both sides of the channel in the middle distance.
  • tamarisk is an introduced ornamental plant that has escaped to riparian areas and is now a state listed noxious weed.
British Dictionary definitions for tamarisk


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
Word Origin
C15: from Late Latin tamariscus, from Latin tamarix
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for tamarisk

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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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tamarisk in the Bible

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 Article for 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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