Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Tamarix canariensis
(Canary Island tamarisk)



Tamarix canariensis (Canary Island tamarisk)


  • Last modified
  • 27 September 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Tamarix canariensis
  • Preferred Common Name
  • Canary Island tamarisk
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Tamarix canariensis Willd. (1816)

Preferred Common Name

  • Canary Island tamarisk

Other Scientific Names

  • Tamarix geyrii Diel (1917)
  • Tamarix balansae var. micrantha Maire & Trab. ex Maire
  • Tamarix brachystylis J. Gay ex Batt. & Trab. (1889)
  • Tamarix brachystylis J. Gay ex Coss (1855) nom. nud.
  • Tamarix brachystylis var. geyrii (Diels) Maire
  • Tamarix brachystylis var. sanguinea J. Gay ex Batt. & Trab.
  • Tamarix brachystylis var. sanguinea J. Gay ex Coss. (1855) nom. nud.
  • Tamarix esperanza Pau & Villar (1927)
  • Tamarix gallica subsp. epidiscina var. submutica Maire & Trab. ex Maire
  • Tamarix gallica subsp. leucocharis (Maire) Maire (1935)
  • Tamarix gallica var. agrigentina Bge. (1852)
  • Tamarix gallica var. canariensis (Willd.) Ehrenb. (1827)
  • Tamarix gallica var. lagunae (Cab.) Maire (1932)
  • Tamarix gallica var. sardoa Bge. (1852)
  • Tamarix lagunae Cab. (1911)
  • Tamarix leucocharis Maire (1931)
  • Tamarix muluyana Sennen & Maur. (1933) nom. nud.
  • Tamarix murbeckii Sennen (1931) nom. nud.
  • Tamarix riojana Sennen & Elias (1928)
  • Tamarix sireti Sennen (1932)
  • Tamarix valdesquamigera Sennen & Maur. (1933) nom. nud.
  • Tamarix weylerii Pau (1921)

International Common Names

  • English: saltcedar; tamarisk
  • Spanish: pinebete
  • French: tamaris des Canaries

Local Common Names

  • Germany: Tamariske, Kanarien-
  • Israel: ashel
  • Italy: tamerice delle Cannarie

EPPO code

  • TAACA (Tamarix canariensis)

Taxonomic Tree

Top of page
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Tamaricales
  •                         Family: Tamaricaceae
  •                             Genus: Tamarix
  •                                 Species: Tamarix canariensis

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

Top of page T. canariensis is one of a group of closely related invasive species in North America, which also includes T. ramosissima, T. chinensis and T. gallica. Hybrids also occur between T. canariensis and all three other species, but especially with T. gallica (Gaskin and Schall, 2002, 2003).

For further information on the weedy deciduous Tamarix species, see the full datasheet on T. ramosissima.


Top of page Most morphological features are similar to those of T. ramosissima but T. canariensis differs from that species and from T. chinensis in the insertion of filaments on the lobes of the nectary disc rather than between them (well illustrated in Gaskin and Schaal, 2003). It differs from T. gallica in bract length (at least as long as the calyx in T. gallica, only half as long in T. canariensis) and in sepals (entire in T. gallica, distinctly denticulate in T. canariensis) (Baum, 1968).

Plant Type

Top of page Broadleaved
Seed propagated
Vegetatively propagated


Top of page T. canariensis has a restricted native distribution in southwestern Europe and North Africa. Its introduced range in the USA is also relatively restricted to the southeastern states. Gaskin and Schaal (2002) note that the hybrid with T. gallica is prevalent along the gulf coast of Louisiana and Texas, while hybrids with T. ramosissima and T. chinensis occur in the western half of Texas.

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes


AlgeriaWidespreadNative Not invasive Baum, 1978
MoroccoWidespreadNative Not invasive Baum, 1978
-Canary IslandsWidespreadNative Not invasive Baum, 1978
TunisiaWidespreadBaum, 1978

North America

USAPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-ArizonaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2005
-GeorgiaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2005
-LouisianaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2005
-North CarolinaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2005
-South CarolinaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2005
-TexasWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Baum, 1967


FranceRestricted distributionNative Not invasive Baum, 1978
-CorsicaWidespreadNative Not invasive Baum, 1978
PortugalRestricted distributionNative Not invasive Baum, 1978
SpainWidespreadNative Not invasive Baum, 1978


Top of page Generally comparable with those of the closely related T. ramosissima but detailed data lacking.

Habitat List

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Terrestrial – ManagedManaged forests, plantations and orchards Present, no further details
Managed grasslands (grazing systems) Present, no further details
Disturbed areas Present, no further details
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Present, no further details
Natural grasslands Present, no further details
Riverbanks Present, no further details
Wetlands Present, no further details
Deserts Present, no further details
Coastal areas Present, no further details

Biology and Ecology

Top of page The biology of T. canariensis is generally comparable with T. ramosissima (see the datasheet on that species), detailed data are lacking.

Notes on Natural Enemies

Top of page Most of the work on natural enemies has been carried out for T. ramosissima (see the separate datasheet for more details). It is reasonable to expect that the same pests could attack T. canariensis.

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Clothing, footwear and possessionsSmuggled flowers, cuttings Yes
Containers and packaging - woodCuttings, whole plants Yes

Plant Trade

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Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transportPest stagesBorne internallyBorne externallyVisibility of pest or symptoms
Fruits (inc. pods) seeds
Leaves whole plants
Roots whole plants
Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches
True seeds (inc. grain) seeds
Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport
Growing medium accompanying plants
Seedlings/Micropropagated plants

Impact Summary

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Animal/plant collections None
Animal/plant products None
Biodiversity (generally) Negative
Crop production Negative
Environment (generally) Negative
Fisheries / aquaculture Negative
Forestry production Negative
Human health Negative
Livestock production Negative
Native fauna Negative
Native flora Negative
Rare/protected species Negative
Tourism None
Trade/international relations None
Transport/travel Negative

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

Top of page Details of morphological characters distinguishing T. canariensis from the closely related species T. ramosissima, T. chinensis and T. gallica are noted under Morphology, but it must be said that these are difficult to confirm in the field. T. parviflora is more readily distinguished by its four-part flowers, while T. aphylla is evergreen and has distinct foliage, the leaves not overlapping and strongly clasping the stem.


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Barnes PL; Walker LR; Powell EA, 2004. Tamarix aphylla: A newly invasive tree in southern Nevada. Proceedings of the Ecological Society of America Meeting, Portland, Oregon, 1-6 August 2004. Abstracts, 31.

Baum B, 1968. 2. Tamarix L. In: Tutin TG, Heywood VH, Burges NA, Moore DM, Valentine DH, Walters SM, Webb DA, eds, Flora Europaea, Volume 2. Rosaceae to Umbelliferae. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 292-294.

Baum BR, 1967. Introduced and naturalized tamarisks in the United States and Canada (Tamaricaceae). Baileya, 15:19-25.

Baum BR, 1978. The Genus Tamarix. Jerusalem, Israel: Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.

Crins WJ, 1989. The Tamaricaceae in the southeastern United States. Journal of the Arnold Arboretum, 70:403-425.

Gaskin JF; Schaal BA, 2002. Hybrid Tamarix widespread in U.S. invasion and undetected in native Asian range. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 99(17):11256-11259; 26 ref.

Gaskin JF; Schaal BA, 2003. Molecular phylogenetic investigation of U.S. invasive Tamarix. Systematic Botany, 28(1):86-95; 43 ref.

USDA-NRCS, 2005. The PLANTS Database. Baton Rouge, USA: National Plant Data Center.

Distribution Maps

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