Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Tamarix gallica
(French tamarisk)



Tamarix gallica (French tamarisk)


  • Last modified
  • 22 November 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Tamarix gallica
  • Preferred Common Name
  • French tamarisk
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Tamarix gallica L. (1753)

Preferred Common Name

  • French tamarisk

Other Scientific Names

  • Tamarix algeriensis Hort. (1841)
  • Tamarix anglica Webb (1841)
  • Tamarix brachylepis Sennen (1932)
  • Tamarix esperanza var. majoriflora Pau & Villar (1927)
  • Tamarix matritensis Pau & Villar
  • Tamarix pedemontana Savy ex Gand. (1910)
  • Tamarix senegalensis DC.

International Common Names

  • English: saltcedar; tamarisk
  • Spanish: pinebete
  • French: tamaris de France

Local Common Names

  • Germany: Französische Tamariske
  • Israel: ashel
  • Italy: tamarice gallico

EPPO code

  • TAAGA (Tamarix gallica)

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Tamaricales
  •                         Family: Tamaricaceae
  •                             Genus: Tamarix
  •                                 Species: Tamarix gallica

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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T. gallica is one of a group of closely related invasive species in North America, which also includes T. ramosissima, T. chinensis and T. canariensis. Hybrids may occur between T. gallica and all these species, but most commonly with T. canariensis (Gaskin and Schall, 2002, 2003).
For further information on the weedy deciduous Tamarix species, see the full datasheet on T. ramosissima.


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Most morphological features are similar to those of T. ramosissima but T. gallica 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. canariensis 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

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Seed propagated
Vegetatively propagated


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T. gallica has a restricted native distribution in southwestern Europe while its introduced range in USA is somewhat sporadic, mainly in southeastern states but also in California and New Mexico. Gaskin and Schaal (2002) note that the hybrid with T. canariensis 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.

Last updated: 17 Dec 2021
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes


Saudi ArabiaPresent


FrancePresent, WidespreadNative
ItalyPresent, WidespreadNative
SlovakiaPresentIntroducedFirst reported: 1847. First reported in wild: 1991
SpainPresent, WidespreadNative
SwitzerlandPresent, LocalizedNative
UkrainePresent, LocalizedIntroduced
United KingdomPresentIntroduced1796

North America

Puerto RicoPresentIntroduced
United StatesPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-New MexicoPresentIntroduced
-North CarolinaPresentIntroduced
-South CarolinaPresentIntroduced
-TexasPresent, Few occurrencesIntroducedInvasive




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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
Terrestrial ManagedManaged grasslands (grazing systems) Present, no further details
Terrestrial ManagedDisturbed areas Present, no further details
Terrestrial ManagedRail / roadsides Present, no further details
Terrestrial ManagedUrban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Present, no further details
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalNatural grasslands Present, no further details
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalRiverbanks Present, no further details
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalWetlands Present, no further details
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalDeserts Present, no further details
LittoralCoastal areas Present, no further details

Biology and Ecology

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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

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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. gallica.

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
Leaves weeds/whole plants
Roots weeds/whole plants
Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches
True seeds (inc. grain) weeds/seeds
Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport
Fruits (inc. pods)
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 Negative
Trade/international relations None
Transport/travel None

Uses List

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  • Agroforestry
  • Erosion control or dune stabilization
  • Shade and shelter


  • Ornamental

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Traditional/folklore

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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Details of morphological characters distinguishing T. gallica from the closely related species T. ramosissima, T. chinensis and T. canariensis 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 References

Alhaithloul H A A S, 2019. Prevalence study of weeds in some economic orchards trees. Asian Journal of Agriculture and Biology. 7 (4), 512-518.

Baum B B, 1978. The genus Tamarix. Jerusalem, Israel: Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. 14 + 209 pp.

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

CABI, Undated. CABI Compendium: Status inferred from regional distribution. Wallingford, UK: CABI

CABI, Undated a. CABI Compendium: Status as determined by CABI editor. Wallingford, UK: CABI

Seebens H, Blackburn T M, Dyer E E, Genovesi P, Hulme P E, Jeschke J M, Pagad S, Pyšek P, Winter M, Arianoutsou M, Bacher S, Blasius B, Brundu G, Capinha C, Celesti-Grapow L, Dawson W, Dullinger S, Fuentes N, Jäger H, Kartesz J, Kenis M, Kreft H, Kühn I, Lenzner B, Liebhold A, Mosena A (et al), 2017. No saturation in the accumulation of alien species worldwide. Nature Communications. 8 (2), 14435.

USDA-NRCS, 2005. The PLANTS Database. Greensboro, North Carolina, USA: National Plant Data Team.

Links to Websites

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GISD/IASPMR: Invasive Alien Species Pathway Management Resource and DAISIE European Invasive Alien Species Gateway source for updated system data added to species habitat list.
Global register of Introduced and Invasive species (GRIIS) source for updated system data added to species habitat list.

Distribution Maps

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