Desert vegetation is an amazing example of adaptive power of plants and trees. Many are the ways of survival, and it would take us much to far to go into details.
Due to the fact that in most area’s, more then 80 % of the surface consists of bedrock, vegetation is largley confined to wadi beds, where some soil may have accumulated. It is also in these wadis that we find most of plant life.
Some efficient survival systems:
- Remain small, it saves surface through which water evaporates.
- Get round, a more advantageous ratio volume/surface, and develop green cylindrical stems able to perform photosynthesis.
- Cut off your limbs, I mean, led some of your branches die in order to consume less of everything.
- Poison your immediate neighbours, and reduce competition of
even your own species.
- Develop an extended root system close to the surface and still
collect a lot of water during scant rainfall.
- Develop a deep root system and reach groundwater
- Stay many years dormant as a seed and when sufficient rain falls, and speed up your active life to a 3 week compressed cycle, producing leaves, flowers and new seeds in no time
- Be photo synthetically active, (make sugars), only early morning or just before sundown
This blooming retama or
broom grows mainly on sandy soils, where rain can penetrate deeper then in
other soils as clay.
Its roots and branches are still used by Bedouins for making charcoal.
Desert melons seem out of place, but are also well adapted to this harsh environment. A bitter kind of jam is made from its fruits.
The Salix subserrata or Palestine willow
grows in the high mountain area, but is very
common throughout Egypt and native in the
Some of these tees reach a height of 10 meters.