Tamarix aphylla, Tamarix articulate, Athel tree, Athel tamarisk,
Hebrew: אשל הפרקים, Arabic: أثل، طرفاء

Scientific name:  Tamarix aphylla (L.) Karsten
Synonym name:  Tamarix articulate Vahl
Common name:  Athel tree, Athel tamarisk
Hebrew name:  אשל הפרקים
Arabic name:  أثل، طرفاء
Plant Family:  Tamaricaceae, אשליים

Israel native plants
Location: Herzliya Pituach, Keren Hayesod street

Life form:  Tree
Stems:  Up to 18 m, numerous slender branches
Leaves:  Alternate, scale
Inflorescence:  Spike-like racemes
Flowers:  Pink, white
Fruits / pods:  Capsule
Flowering Period:  July, August, September, October, November
Habitat:  Desert, Thermophilous plants
Distribution:  Mediterranean Woodlands and Shrublands, Semi-steppe shrublands, Shrub-steppes, Deserts and extreme deserts
Chorotype:   Sudanian
Summer shedding:  Perenating

Tamarix aphylla, Tamarix articulate, Athel tree, Athel tamarisk,אשל הפרקים
Location: Herzliya Pituach, Keren Hayesod street


Derivation of the botanical name:
Tamarix, the Latin name for this plant derived from the Tamaris River in Spain.
aphylla, without leaves.
articulate, jointed.
  • The standard author abbreviation L. is used to indicate Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778), a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, the father of modern taxonomy.
  • The standard author abbreviation Karsten is used to indicate Gustav Karl Wilhelm Hermann Karsten 1817 - 1908, a German botanist and geologist.
  • The standard author abbreviation Vahl is used to indicate Martin Vahl (1749 – 1804), a Danish-Norwegian botanist and zoologist.
H.B.Tristram (11 May 1822 - 8 March 1906) , The Natural History of the Bible: "Abraham planted a grove (eshel) in Beersheba" (Gen.XXI.33): "Saul abode in Gibeah under a tree (eshel) at Jabesh" (I Sam. XXXI.13); but, in 1 Chron. X.12, it is called 'elah,' an oak. Critics are agreed that 'eshel' signifies some particular tree, and the best authorities identify it with the Arabic asal, the Tamarisk tree.
John Smith, Bible Plants, their history,(London, 1878): "eshel comprehends all plants having single hard-wooded stems, growing from a few to 100 or more feet in height... there are only about 50 kinds of such trees in Palestine of which thirty are mentioned by special names in the Bible... if the word eshel does not mean tamarisk, there is no allusion to these beautiful trees in the Bible."
No less than seven species of Tamarisk are found in Palestine, and several of them in great abundance."

Tamarix aphylla is the largest Tamarix.
nectariferous plants
During the flowering period the tree appears to be covered in white smoke, abundant nectar; non-invasive species; non-seed producing species; honey produced from it has a dark color.



Bible resources:
  1. Genesis 21:33
    Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the LORD, the Eternal God.
  2. 1 Samuel 22:6
    [ Saul Kills the Priests of Nob ] Now Saul heard that David and his men had been discovered. And Saul was seated, spear in hand, under the tamarisk tree on the hill at Gibeah, with all his officials standing at his side.
  3. 1 Samuel 31:13
    Then they took their bones and buried them under a tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and they fasted seven days.

Tamarix aphylla, Tamarix articulate, Athel tree, Athel tamarisk,אשל הפרקים
Location: Herzliya Pituach, Keren Hayesod street