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.
Shrubs or small trees with very minute often scale-like imbricate leaves, and small flowers in dense spikes. Sepals 5, rarely 4, imbricate in bud. Petals of the same number or more, free or slightly connate at the base, imbricate in bud. Stamens 4 to 10, free or connate below, inserted in the disk; anthers versatile. Disk hypogynous or slightly perigynous, furnished with 10 glands. Capsule 3-5-valved. Seeds erect, plumose or winged; albumen none. Tamarix yields manna and galls. A small order; from the temperate and warm regions.