The truth behind Salt cedar

Guelor Mayonde-University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

Tamarix is from the old world, but has become naturalised and invaded other parts of the world including South Africa.

Tamarix usneoides is the only species native to southern Africa, but the exotic species Dessert tamarisk (Tamarix aphylla), Chinese tamarisk (Tamarix chinensis) and Pink tamarisk (Tamarix ramosissima) have been reported to be present in South Africa and these Tamarix species are hypothesized to be hybridizing among themselves and with the indigenous Tamarix usneoides.

Among these exotic species Tamarix chinensis, Tamarix ramisissima and their putative hybrids have become invasive.

This investigation aimed at identifying populations of pure Tamarix usneoides that can be cloned for cultivation for phytoremediation on the mines and to reveal the geographic origin of the invasive species to facilitate a biological control programme.

For more information see the fact sheets below:

Dessert tamarisk (Tamarix aphylla) 

Chinese tamarisk (Tamarix chinensis)

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