Tamarisks (Tamarix) are a group of heather-like shrubs or small trees, similar to each other and thus hard to tell apart. The slender, feathery branchlets bear tiny scale-like leaves, sheathing the stem. Flowers are pink or white, small, delicate, numerous, in dense spikes, most attractive in spring. Tamarisks grow all around the Mediterranean Sea, often just at the head of the beach, since they are tolerant of salt water, forming a valuable windbreak.


Trees and shrubs of the Mediterranean by Helge Vedel, translated from the Danish by Aubrey Rush (Penguin Guides, 1978), p.47