The Athel tamarisk (Tamarix aphylla) belongs to Tamaricaceae (the Tamarisk family). It is a tall evergreen tree that is native across North, East and Central Africa, through the Middle East, and into parts of Western and Southern Asia. This tree grows along watercourses in arid areas, and up to a height of 8-12 m. The bole can be 60-80 cm in diameter. It is very resistant to saline and alkaline soils. The tiny leaves are alternately arranged along the branches, and exude salt, which can form a crusted layer on the surface, and drip onto the ground beneath. It is commonly used for windbreaks on the edges of agricultural fields and as a shade tree in the deserts of the southwestern United States.