Shrubs or trees [subshrubs], usually halophytes, rheophytes, or xerophytes. Leaves alternate, scalelike [subulate], small; stipules absent. Inflorescences simple or compound racemes usually equal or more in number to petals, distinct [connate basally or fasciculate], often attached to fleshy nectar disc; pistil (2–)3–4(–5)-carpellate; ovary 1-locular, sometimes almost plurilocular, ovules 2+ per placenta, anatropous, bitegmic; placentation parietal, basal, or parietal-basal; styles [2–]3–4[–5] [absent, stigmas sessile]. Fruits capsular, dehiscence loculicidal. Seeds comose at one end [hairy overall]; embryo straight; endosperm absent [scanty, starchy]; thin perisperm often present.
Shrubs, subshrubs, or trees. Leaves small, mostly scale-like, alternate, estipulate, usually sessile, mostly with salt-secreting glands. Flowers usually in racemes or panicles, rarely solitary, usually hermaphroditic, regular. Calyx 4- or 5-fid, persistent. Petals 4 or 5, free, deciduous after anthesis or sometimes persistent. Disk inferior, usually thick, nectarylike. Stamens 4, 5, or more numerous, usually free, inserted on disk, rarely united into fascicle at base, or united up to half length into a tube. Anthers 2-thecate, longitudinally dehiscent. Pistil 1, consisting of 2-5 carpels; ovary superior, 1-loculed; placentation parietal, rarely septate, or basal; ovules numerous, rarely few; styles short, usually 2-5, free, sometimes united. Capsule conic, abaxially dehiscent. Seeds numerous, hairy throughout or awned at apex; awns puberulous from base or from middle; endosperm present or absent; embryo orthotropous.
Seeds with or without endosperm, with a tuft of hairs at the apex or all round; embryo straight
Shrubs or trees, with slender branches and small scale-like alternate leaves; stipules absent
Ovary superior, 1-celled, with parietal or basal placentas; styles 3–4, free or united at the base; ovules numerous, ascending
Petals as many as the sepals, free
Flowers very small, actinomorphic, usually hermaphrodite, in slender catkin-like spikes or racemes
Stamens hypogynous, 5–10, free or connate at the base; anthers 2-celled, opening by longitudinal slits
Flowers in racemes or spikes or solitary, small, usually bisexual, regular, hypogynous
Calyx and corolla distinct, 5–4-merous, imbricate, free
Xerophytic or halophytic shrubs or small trees, with slender branches and reduced subulate or scale-like, alternate, exstipulate, glandular-punctate leaves
Seeds ? with long hairs, with or without endosperm; embryo straight
Ovary superior, 1-locular; carpels 3–4; placentas 2–5, basal or parietal, each with 2 or more erect anatropous ovules; styles as many as carpels, free or united below or stigmas sessile
SELECTED REFERENCES Cheng, Z. M., Pan H. X., and Yin L. K. 2000. Study on the phytochemistry taxonomy of Tamarix L. and Myricaria Desv. Acta Bot. Boreal.-Occid. Sin. 20: 275–282. Crins, W. J. 1989. The Tamaricaceae of the southeastern United States. J. Arnold Arbor. 70: 403–425. Gaskin, J. F. et al. 2004. A systematic overview of Frankeniaceae and Tamaricaceae from nuclear rDNA and plastid sequence data. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 91: 401–409. Gupta, A. K. and Y. S. Murty. 1987. Floral anatomy in Tamaricaceae. J. Indian Bot. Soc. 66: 275–282. Niedenzu, F. 1925. Tamaricaceae. In: H. G. A. Engler et al., eds. 1924+. Die natürlichen Pflanzenfamilien, ed. 2. 26+ vols. Leipzig and Berlin. Vol. 21, pp. 282–289. Qaiser, M. 1987. Studies in the seed morphology of the family Tamaricaceae from Pakistan. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 94: 469–484. Zhang, D. Y. et al. 2000. Systematic studies on some questions of Tamaricaceae based on ITS sequence. Acta Bot. Boreal.-Occident. Sin. 20: 421–431. Zhang, Y. M., Pan B. R., and Yin L. K. 1998. Seed morphology of Tamaricaceae in China arid areas and its systematic evolution. J. Pl. Resources Environm. 7(2): 22–27.