Tamarisks are deciduous shrubs or trees growing to 1–18 m in height and forming dense thickets. Tamarix aphylla is the largest, growing up to 18 m tall. They usually grow on saline soils but can also tolerate alkaline conditions. They are characterised by slender branches and grey-green foliage. The leaves are scale-like, 1–2 mm long, and overlap each other along the stem. They are often encrusted with salt secretions. The pink to white flowers appear in dense masses on 5–10 cm long spikes at branch tips, sometimes entirely covering the foliage, usually from spring to autumn.