This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
The characters as above. About twenty species are known. The name is from Tamaris, a river in Spain, where this genus abounds. These shrubs are invaluable for planting by the sea-side, where scarcely anything else will grow.
1. T. Gallica. - This is the common species, growing from 5 to 10 feet, with long and slender branches, and almost feathery ultimate branchlets. Leaves very minute and triangular, larger on the older branches and subulate. Flower-spikes lateral; flowers pentamerous, rose, pink or white; bracts acuminate-cuspidate. This is naturalised in some parts of Britain. It includes T. Anglica, T. pentandra, etc.
2. T. tetrandra, syn. Africana, parviflora, etc., of gardens. - The flowers in this species are usually tetramerous, and produced from the old wood. They are white, tinged with red. The varieties referred here are not so hardy as the foregoing. The true plant is from south-eastern Europe, but the species are very difficult of determination, and possibly this may be incorrectly named.
3. T. Germanica, syn. Myricaria. - Distinguished from the true Tamarisks by 5 sepals, 8 petals, and 10 stamens combined at the base. A shrubby plant 4 to 8 feet high, with very small leaves and red flowers in terminate bracteolate spikes from 2 to 3 inches long. A native of Central and Southern Europe, blooming all the Summer.