Thursday, 29 November 2012


Tamarisks must be among my favourite garden shrubs, with their delicate, feathery branches and little "bottle brushes" of pink or white flowers. They are very common around Mediterranean coasts but one species, Tamarix gallica is well naturalised along the southern coast of Britain. On continental holidays I have often tried to identify the plants I see but there are about 75 species of Tamarisk and I'm not sure I often get it right!

My picture shows a fine specimen in Bell Lane, Byfield, where, even in late November, it remains attractive. The genus gives its name to the Tamaricaceae family.

Two tiny bugs, Tuponia brevirostris and T. mixticolor, have been found in the UK feeding on Tamarisk. Both are recent arrivals to these shores. So far the former has only been found in the vicinity of London beside the banks of the Thames but I'll keep an eye open for it, after all, our local watercourses all feed into the Thames so you never know...

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