Description from Flora of China
Shrubs or small trees, 1-3(-6) m tall. Branches of previous year dark red-purple. Leaves of vegetative branches linear-lanceolate or ovate-lanceolate, small, 2-3.5 mm, base semiamplexicaul, margin scarious, slightly dentate, apex long acuminate or acute, mucronate, incurved; those of growing branches nearly amplexicaul, ovate-lanceolate, base enlarged, decurrent, apex acuminate. Flowers blooming from spring to summer (to autumn). When blooming in spring, racemes lateral in growing branches of previous year, mostly several clustered, 1.5-9 cm × 3-5(-8) mm, without peduncles or peduncles ca. 2 cm; when blooming in summer, racemes terminal in young branches of current year, clustered in lax or dense short panicles; bracts linear-oblong, linear, or obovate-oblong, slightly carinate, 1-2 mm, slightly exceeding pedicels, or equaling calyx, rarely slightly longer, often thinly membranous, apex acute. Pedicels equaling or slightly exceeding calyx. Flowers 5-merous. Sepals ovate-orbicular, ca. 1 mm, margin membranous, dentate, apex obtuse; inner 3 slightly more obtuse than outer 2. Petals rose or pink, ovate or ovate-elliptic, 1.5-2(-2.5) × 0.7-1 mm, ca. 2 × as long as calyx, carinate at least in lower half, apex subrounded, often contacting each other and thus corolla globose, persistent in fruit. Disk purple-red, thick, 5-fid; lobes obtuse or retuse at apex. Stamens 5, equaling or ca. 1/3 exceeding petals; filaments gradually narrowing and slender, inserted between disk lobes; anthers cordate, apex obtuse or mucronate. Styles 3, clavate-spatulate, ca. 1/2 or rarely 1/3-3/5 as long as ovary. Capsule 4-5 mm, ca. 4 × exceeding calyx. Fl. May to early Jun, autumn. 2n = 24*.
Baum (Gen. Tamarix, 44. 1978) considered this species to be conspecific with Tamarix smyrnensis Bunge.
Forests on river banks in deserts, salty soils of river banks, lakesides in deserts. Gansu, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Xinjiang [Mongolia; C and SW Asia].