by Stephen Mifsud
   2 Mar 2024      ()
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Tamarix africana   (African Tamarisk)

Tamarix africana  (TAMARICACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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Profile Date Nov-2007 (taxon update: none)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Tamarix africana - datasheet created on Nov-2007. Retrieved from on 02-Mar-2024

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Tamarix africanaPoir.
Published in Voy. Barbarie 2: 139 (1789)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Tamarix hispanica Poir.
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life] []

Plant Family :

Tamaricaceae Link (The Tamarix Family)
3 species from the Tamaricaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

African Tamarisk

Maltese name(s) :


Status for Malta :

Indigenous. Present on the Maltese islands before man

Frequency :

Very Common     Common    Frequent     Scarce     Rare    Very rare    Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: Macro-Phanerophyte ( high trees usually over 10 m high )
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection :

Protected by law: Schedule II of [S.L. 549.123] (Trees protected in selected areas)

Red List (1989) :

Threatened status for the Maltese Islands and has been listed in the Red Data Book (1st ed.)

Flowering Time :

January – March

Colour of Flowers:



Not particularly toxic

Name Derivation :


Planting in rural areas :

Encouraged to be planted in the wild that is in rural areas including ODZ.

Remarks :

A native Tamarix species that is found along coastal areas and estuaries of the Maltese islands. More frequent on the island of Gozo and Comino and in some sites it forms a small woodland. The other Tamarix species (namely T. gallica) have been introduced.

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Coastal marshes and river-banks.
Preferred habitat in Malta: Coastal areas especially in clayey soil or at the bottom of clay slopes.
Botanical Description: Tree with black or dark purple bark, glabrous except for papillose bracts and inflorescence-axis. Leaves 1.5-4 mm, acute. Racemes 30-60 x 5-8 mm, usually vernal, but often aestival in Spain and Portugal. Bracts triangular, obtuse to acuminate, usually exceeding the calyx. Flowers subsessile, white or pale pink, 5-merous, without antepetalous stamens. Sepals 1.5 mm, trullate-ovate, acute. Petals 2-3 mm, trullate-ovate, at least some of them persistent. Filaments expanded at the base and confluent with the lobes of the disc.
Distributional range: S.W. Europe, extending eastwards to S. Italy.

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):
the Balaeric Islands, Corse, France (incl. Monaco and Channel Islands but excluding Corse), Spain (incl. Andorra but excl. the Balaerics), Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), Portugal, Sardinia, Sicily and/or Malta, Introduced in  Britain (excl. Northern Ireland and Channel islands)
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
? Ag Bl(I M N) Ca(C F L T) Co Ct Ga(F) Hs(S) It Li Lu Ma Md Sa Si(M S) Tn [nAz(C F G J L M P S T) Br]

Links & Further literature (0 papers)

Google Web

Google Images

Google Scholar

Research Gate




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



World Flora Online

Plants of the World Online

Vienna Virt. Herb.

RBGE Herbarium

KEW Herbarium




Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (11 images)
   Tamarix africana   -   Image Code: TMXAF-0.
   Tamarix africana   -   Image Code: TMXAF-1.
   Tamarix africana   -   Image Code: TMXAF-2.
   Tamarix africana   -   Image Code: TMXAF-3.
   Tamarix africana   -   Image Code: TMXAF-4.
   Tamarix africana   -   Image Code: TMXAF-5.
   Tamarix africana   -   Image Code: TMXAF-6.
   Tamarix africana   -   Image Code: TMXAF-7.
   Tamarix africana   -   Image Code: TMXAF-8.
   Tamarix africana   -   Image Code: TMXAF-9.
   Tamarix africana   -   Image Code: TMXAF-10.

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