ع
Trees

Arabic Name

الأثل، الطرفا

Latin Name

Tamarix nilotica , Tamaricaceae

English Name

Nile tamarisk, athel, tarfah

Tamarix nilotica is known as Nile Tamarisk or Manna Tamarisk, in Arabic athel, abal or tarfa. The name Manna comes from the fact that insects would suck the sap of these Tamarisks, and then excrete the honeydew-like substance as part of their metabolism. These sweet Manna balls were used by the Bedouins as nourishment. They also had a medicinal use as an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent against throat and gum inflammation. A shrub or small tree, its area of distribution lies in the Arabian peninsula and northern Africa. The preferred locations reach from Mediterranean wood- or shrublands up to extreme deserts. The slow, irregularly growing tree reaches a height of 8 metres. It is often multi-stemmed, and the foliage is grey-green. The leaves are squamate. The purple flowers stay in panicles together. These panicles are usually 10 cm long. Flowering lasts very long. The fruits are capsules. Propagation is by direct seeding and by cuttings. Tamarix nilotica can withstand high salinity. It has no special requirements in relation to soil or irrigation. It is adapted to the desert, with its hot winds, droughts and heat. The Manna Tamarisk is useful in open country as a coloniser, bank stabiliser and for environmental consolidation because of its invasive roots. The small tree is attractive in groups or massed planting. Woodland edges, pond or stream edges, as in its natural habitats, will be the best recommendation for its use in landscape design, for example in Wadi Hanifah or the Al Hair Lake Area.

General information

Family Name : Tamaricaceae
Origin: Sub Tropical
Rainfall: Semi Arid , Extremely Arid , Very Arid
Propagation: Direct Sowing , Cuttings , Sowing and Pricking Out
Maintenance: Low

Environmental conditions

Desiccation: Resistant
Drought: Resistant
Irrigation: Low
Salinity: Very High > 5,000 ppm
Hardiness Zones: -9°C

Plant shape

Vigour: Slow Growing
Height: From 3 To 8 M
Expansion: From 2 To 6 M
Foliage: Evergreen

Flower

Colour: Purple
Size: 10 CM
Flowering Period: From Early March Till Late May

Fruit

Type Of Fruit: Capsule
Size: 3 CM
Toxicity: Inedible , Poisonous

Location of Use :

Open Country , Massed Planting , Pond Edge , Stream Edge , Private Garden , Wadi Farm Garden , Wadi Plant

Other choices :

Mythological , Shoreline Stabilization , Environmental Consolidation , Grouped Planting , Plant Used by ADA , Invasive Roots , Attractive Flower , Screen , Nativ in Riyadh , Medical Plant , Colonisers

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