Handsome stranger... Juniper? Cypress?

Discussion in 'Plants: Identification' started by gemdesign, Oct 13, 2005.

  1. gemdesign

    gemdesign Member

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Corona, California, USA
    This pretty handsome volunteer came up in the "dead zone" in our yard... where the soil has never drained well. We've been unable to get anything to last here, so when this guy poked his head up as happy as can be, I felt I just HAD to find out what his name was!!! His foliage looks similar to the imbricate fashion of a juniper. His color is the prettiest shade of silvery blue green on red-brown stems. I'd guess he wants to grow tall (maybe tree-like?). Although upright, the branches are fairly lax and whispy compared to other junipers I know of (what about Cypress?). Can anyone identify this handsome fellow? And, should I be worried that he's made his home next to our sprinkler junction?!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,555
    Likes Received:
    471
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    Cypress.
     
  3. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    10,976
    Likes Received:
    264
    Location:
    Britain zone 8/9
    I don't think this is a conifer at all - the shoots are smooth, whereas a cypress or juniper seedling the leaf bases would be decurrent down the stem with conspicuous channel lines between them. The leaves are also spirally arranged, whereas cypress and juniper have leaves in opposite decussate pairs.

    My best guess on its identity would be a Salsola.
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,555
    Likes Received:
    471
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    And they are rather spaced-out. Yet, it seems to have resin dots.
     
  5. gemdesign

    gemdesign Member

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Corona, California, USA
    I appreciate your help on this guys. Unfortunately, I've been searching all evening under Cupressus and Salsola and have yet to find anything similar. There are some Cypress plants that are similar, but unless this young seedling looks quite different from its adult form, I'm still stumped. In case it helps, I failed to mention that it appears to have no odor or fragrance when rubbed between my fingers. Could it just be a youngster of some indegenous tumble weed???
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,555
    Likes Received:
    471
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    My first thought was actually tamarix, but after clicking on the closeup I thought not.
     
  7. gemdesign

    gemdesign Member

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Corona, California, USA
    Ron, I think you have it!!! As soon as I saw that name, I remembered all the Tamarix that are growing wild around here! Since we live on a cul-de-sac up on a hill, we end up with ALL KINDS of debris blowing into and getting trapped in our yard. I'll be it was seeded from a nearby Tamarix. After looking up a gazillion photos of it on the web, I feel even more certain. Tamarix ramosissima or T. chinensis both seem to have astounding similarities in leaf, bark, color and growth habit. Take a look and I think you'll agree. I would have posted some images to compare, but thought better of it since I don't have permission to use them. My last worry now is whether it stays or goes since most sites I visited warned it was a noxious weed in all areas. Evidently it's roots go deep down to the water table allowing it to take over dry streambeds, and also it increases soil salinity so much that nothing else can live near it. Yikes! Thanks again for your help.
     
  8. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,555
    Likes Received:
    471
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    I assumed you would've recognized it if it was a tamarix, had determined it was a conifer. Of the two choices offered, it was most like cupressus at a glance. Probably you can find a similar (tamarix) plant growing nearby.
     
  9. Marcrstna

    Marcrstna Member

    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Texas
    Wow, the images that I found in a search show it turns pink?
     
  10. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,555
    Likes Received:
    471
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    Pink flowers. Showiness in bloom varies with the kind.
     
  11. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    10,976
    Likes Received:
    264
    Location:
    Britain zone 8/9
    Bear in mind that Tamarix is listed as a very damaging invasive weed in most of the US - not one to keep!
     
  12. gemdesign

    gemdesign Member

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Corona, California, USA
    I think I have to agree. Although it's quite a pretty plant when mature, I'm afraid I'd just be adding to the problem if I allowed it to grow and seed. Therefore, I'm afraid it has to go. I appreciate everyone's input on this.
     

Share This Page