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What Kinds Of Plants Are In The Desert? What Flower Grows In The Desert?

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To survive in the deserts the plants have adapted to the extremes of the heat and aridity by using both physical and behavioral mechanism. Plants that have adapted by altering their physical structure are xerophytes. Xerophytes, such as cacti, usually have special means of storing and conserving water. They often have few or no leaves which reduces transpiration.

Phreatomphyes are plants that have adapted to the arid environments by growing extremely long roots , which allows them to acquire moisture at or near the water label. The cactus is a very hard plant that can survive in extreme situation for their structure and long roots that help them to acquire water from the desert.  Many different varieties of desert plants live in the desert from wildflowers to shrubbery to spiny cacti and different trees. The Joshua tree is one of the most famous of all the desert plants. They have unique body structure like almost claw like arms that bend out at odd directions and have spiky balls on the top of the branches. These kinds of plants grow in the Mojave Desert with the right degree of altitude and rainfall, although the spices are under threat of extinction due to climate change.

Cacti are among the most popular and most famous of the succulent varieties. While succulents like the aloe plants store water throughout their dense fleshy bodies, cacti have their water supply regulated to one single stem while spikes or spines cover the rest of the body of the cactus.

There are various types of desert cactus and saguaro cactus, famous for its goalpost like shape and some of these are small and round like shape similar to that of the poached barrel cactus. The pencil cactus looks like land bound seaweed and while it is delicate and green in color, the milky liquid that is found inside the plant is poisonous for animals.

The prickly pear is a beautiful and noticeable cactus it is made of several cacti pods and is topped with lovely pink flowers. It has almost a neon style hot pink color to its flesh and extract, which are used in everything from tacos to margaritas.

Some of the other desert plants that have adapted with the rough weather of the desert like the palm trees, these are seen in the desert, although not the kind of coconut palm trees that you would find in tropical regions like Hawaii or the southern tip of the Florida,. The palm trees are found in the desert are not fruit bearing. Desert species include the ponytail palm, which has curly leaves and is adapt at storing water. There is also California fan palm, which is the only species of palm native to the high desert area. These are different for their shaggy trunks.

Aside from the cactus, agave and Aloe Vera, there are other various types of succulent plants in the desert. Succulent plants like the pencil plants have green stems that are almost seaweed like in shape. These stems are usually a bright green in color but it can change its color when they are under stress from too little water, too much direct sunlight or other conditions.

Other succulent are the deserts producers of agave syrup and the substances used to make beverages like ginger, beer. The ghost plant, which has a cabbage like shape, it is exceptionally popular as a houseplant and for landscaping in the desert. These plants can produce small yellow flower and can sustain in sandy soil. Some of the most common type of the flowers that are found in the desert is stated below:

Apache plume

The apache plume is a kind a flower that blooms from may to October that grows at a range of elevations alongside everything from saguaros to ponderosa pines. Some of the largest specimen is more than seven feet tall, but the average   plant is far shorter, especially at higher elevations.

California poppy

This poppy flower is very beautiful; the life cycle of the California poppy is ideally suited to the low rainfall of the Mojave Desert. The poppy’s seeds lie dormant in until triggered by rains. Then the plants flower quickly ands scatter their seeds, which in turn lie dormant until the next season of abundant winter rains.


Chuparosa means rose sucker in Spanish, this is a delicate bell shaped flower, and this flower attracts the hummingbirds in the desert.

Desert dandelion

This is a common flower in the Sonoran desert; the desert marigold grows in large clumps, often to a height of two feet. The leaves and stems are a kind of dull, even nondescript green, densely matted to protect the plant from the ultraviolet rays and to help it retain water. The wide flowers, however, are brilliant yellow, highly esteemed by dry lands gardeners and many birds’ species alike.  The name marigold is widely supposed to honor the virgin Mary, although it may, in fact, derive from the term “mere”.

Golden sunup

This kind of flowers are dark yellow in color and grow in the rocky areas  of the desert lands. The when the three bloom together it looks beautiful.

What is the flora of the desert?

Flora Karakum desert

The vegetation in the desert is quite diverse, consisting mainly of grass, small shrubs, bushes and trees. The humid early spring allows the extensive growth of ephemeral plants, which are the main animal fodder while in the barchans dune areas the classic vegetation consists of grasses, the wormwood shrub, and trees of the species ammo Dendron conollyi. The most widespread bushes are species of astragals, aclligonum and saltwort. The plant life of the Turkmen karakum can be used as food in winter by camels.

Flora of Sahara desert

Due to scarcity of water, there is no small amount of flora present there. Before the Sahara became a desert it was full of Mediterranean vegetation and now only Cyprus and laurel can be sighted here . Plants here are adapted such that there is minimum water loss and lot of water absorption takes place. This spine are like leaves to the plants that help the plants to make photosynthesis beside that they have long roots that help them to absorb moisture  from the sand .

Which plants are found in Thar Desert?

The rough climate of the Thar desert surprisingly supports a large number of plants to grow. These plants have adapted to the desert conditions of the sandy soil scarce water and long hours of sunlight. Some of the names and features of the plants in the Thar Desert are stated below


It is a medium sized decides plant with small leaves and thorny branches. The deep root of the plant penetrating up to 30 meter, which help the plant to store water from the deep underground in the desert. The plant has tiny yellow flowers in spikes and it have bunches of slender fruit pods.

The plant is very useful as it provides timber and many types of medicines can be prepared from this plant. It also provides food to the live stocks in the desert like camel.


It is a small deciduous tree, which has trumpet shaped flowers in red yellow or orange cluster. The seedpods are long, thin, and gently curved. The plant is useful to make furniture and in the preparation of medicines.


It is a small deciduous tree, which has shiny dark red spines in sets of three, with one throne hooked like a parrot’s beak. The flower of the tree is creamy white in color and has cylindrical spikes. The shapes of the seedpods are curved or straight and brown in color.

The waste of the tree is used as a source of gum, which is used in the printing industry as an adhesive. It is also used in processed food. The seeds of the plant are also used to prepare Marwari vegetable dish.


It is a bush type of tree with thin branches small leaves and long green thrones. The fruit that is derived from this plant is egg shaped woody fruit. The seeds fruit, leaves, and bark have medicinal and detergent use.

How are desert plants adapted to their climate?

These plants have adapted to the tough conditions of the desert as they have some body parts, which help them to tolerate the tough conditions in the desert. Different plants have adapted different strategies to sustain in the dry weather of the desert. Some of the plants have deep root systems to tap into the low ground water level s while some have smaller or no leaves and spiky thorns to save on water loss through transpirations. Some species, particularly the grasses and small herbaceous plants are ephemerals that help them to live in short seasonal cycle they germinate in the first rains in July and die out during the December when the soil dries up.  


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