Tamarix, from archaeological to contemporary landscape

Risultato della ricerca: Otherpeer review


One of the most well-known references to the presence of Tamarix species in ancient times is reported in Genesis (21:33). At that time, the tamarisks were used as decorative elements in oaths, purification, and divination. The tamarisk leaves were also used in concoctions and to ward away evil influence, and the branches to construct magic circles. The landscape surrounding the Abraham well in Beersheba is still characterized by the presence of Tamarix nilotica (Ehrenb.) Bunge. This species is particularly widespread along the banks of the sacred Jordan and Jabbok Rivers. In some old and recentpaintings we can recognize habitus, habitat and, morphological features of tamarisk species such as Tamarix aphylla (L.) H. Karst, T. usneoides Bunge, T. gallica L., and T. africana Poir. Most Egyptian timber consists of tamarisk and their wide use and distribution in the territory can be identified in relief sculptures and paintings. Recently, in the Hamriyah area of Sharjah (United Arab Emirates), old T. aphylla trees have been recognised as worth of protection and a link between the old and new generations. The genus Tamarix L. occurs naturally from western Europe and the Mediterranean to North Africa, northeastern China, Mongolia, India and, Japan. In North and South America, tamarisks werespread as ornamental plants for gardens during the 1800 and 1900's. The seeds escaped cultivated areas and the plants are currently mainly located over the banks of streams and rivers. Tamarisks are distributed in Italy as wild and ornamental plants. They cannot be identified by leaves and racemes but only from a careful observation of the floral disc under the microscope. Tamarisk trees characterize the landscape of many archaeological sites including those of Neapolis (Syracuse) and Selinunte in Sicily. Oneof the biggest problems now, particularly in America, is their invasiveness.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine1
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2018


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