Friday, July 17, 2009

On Tamarix

Reading up on this shrubby tree, the 5-Stamen Tamarisk, (Tamarix Ramosissima) I learned that the genus, called salt cedar, thrives in saline soils, and discourages the growth of competing plants by sending the salts through their systems to the blossoms and foliage, where it falls onto the ground currying the soil with too much salt for seedlings of other plants. In places, Tamarisk varieties have crowded out Willow and Cottonwood. Varieties were also planted heavily to reclaim the prarie once overgrazing and inept farming turned it into a dustbowl.

I was drawn to this plant at the BBG because of its feathery foliage and delicate, airy, wandering habit. What drew so many honey bees, bumble bees, fire flies and syrphid flies to it, I can't say. Every clump of flowers crawled with life. Perhaps the insects crave salt.

No comments: