Mysterious Plants of Desert

Mysterious Plants of Desert

A desert is a barren area of land where little precipitation occurs and subsequently, living conditions are hostile for plant and animal life. The lack of plants exposes the vulnerable surface area of the ground to the processes of denudation. The climate of habitat plays a significant role in the growth of every species of plant.

You can see such unusual habits in every desert plant, utilized to grow in such an extreme and harsh environment. These plants are well adapted in desert areas and endure with really less water and normally, they have a thick round stem to store water. Here we have discussed the list of the 10 most strange desert plants.

1.Barrel Cactus

Barrel Cactus is found in the deserts of Southwestern the United States and Canada. Barrel cacti of some types easily reach over 1 meter in height at maturity. Flowers appear at the top of the plant just after many years. Barrel cactus buds usually begin to bloom in April with a bright yellow or orange flower. The flowers only appear on the very top of the plant.


As the flowers wilt away, little pineapple-shaped greenish fruit may form. Native Americans collected the fruit as emergency food during severe dry spell conditions. Barrel Cactus puncture to human skin from one of the spines is considered a ‘dirty injury’. If the leak is deep enough to draw blood. Barrel cactus plants are among the most dangerous cacti to human beings in the desert.

2.Welwitschia Mirabilis

Welwitschia mirabilis is a strange desert plant native to the Namibian desert, at first evolved in the Jurassic duration. It is among the long-living plant types internationally, having a life-span of long 2000 years. Even though having great deals of leaves on the first appearance, it only has 2 leaves, and those leaves grow constantly from a base stem. It is also known as a tree tumbo. Additionally, tree tumbo plants produce male cones that are pink to red, while female cones are a combination of pink and bluish green.


Tree tumbos use their long taproot to absorb moisture from fog and other rainfall. Thus, it holds the leading position in the list of strangest desert plants.

3.Baobab tree

Due to several studies, the Baobab tree is one of the world’s longest survivors that lived apart from the demonic dinosaurs. This weird desert tree consists of eight species native to the deserts of Africa, Arabia, Australia, and Madagascar’s island. Other amazing names of this tree include ‘boab,’ ‘boaboa,’ ‘upside-down tree,’ ‘bottle tree,’ ‘the tree of life,’ and ‘monkey bread tree.’

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The soft and fleshy thick trunk of the Baobab tree makes it distinct. It is house to a vast range of animals, including various birds, insects, scorpions, lizards, squirrels, tree frogs, snakes, and spiders. Their spongy, porous bark enables them to conserve water. So, these mysterious desert plants can soak up moisture and as much water as possible in times of rain. 

4.Saguaro Cactus

The saguaro is a tree-like cactus species that can grow to be over 20 m tall. The saguaro bloom is the state wildflower of Arizona. Its taxonomic name is given in honor of Andrew Carnegie. Saguaros have a reasonably long life-span. They might grow their very first side arm any time from 75– 100 years of age but some never grow one at all. Saguaros absorb the Saguaro-Cactus


The cactus will noticeably broaden, holding in the water. It conserves the water and gradually consumes it. The night-blooming white and yellow flowers appear April through June and the sweet, ruby-colored fruit matures by late June. The flowers open well after sunset and remain open till mid-afternoon of the next day.

5.Jumping Cholla

Jumping cholla also called teddy bear cholla used to grow in the desert areas of South Western parts of the United States. The soft fuzzy branches themselves offered such a name for this desert plant. Jumping cholla in fact covered with silver spines and makes discomfort once you touched this plant. Jumping cholla likewise utilized to throw this spine on outer connections, those spines have size up to 1 inch. This type of desert plant used to take control of a specific area and grows in thick, like a little forest.


The thick spinal columns of jumping cholla help the plant to survive from the heat of the desert. It likewise blooms in the month of May, can see a greenish lower at end of the stem.

6.Baseball Plant

We can see the Baseball plant within the Karoo desert of South Africa, having a taxonomic name as Euphorbia obesa. This strange desert plant exactly appears like a baseball and extinct because of over-collection. Baseball plant produces compound leaves which have a really short life expectancy. They don’t produce spines instead of leaves. This plant acquires nutrients and water from the ground utilizing its tapering taproot.

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It is greenish and has a size of 15 cm. It can save water for a long time. The water reservoirs of these plants help them for periods of drought. An intriguing reality about this baseball plant is that the female and male flowers grow on various plants. They are hazardous and can cause acute skin problems. Their over-collection and poaching make them threatened in the wild.

7.Desert Ironwood

Desert ironwood plants can just find within the Sonoran Desert, in The United States and Canada. Desert ironwood handled to survive in the dry harsh environment of the Sonoran Desert. This plant has a tree-like structure and reveals similarity to sweet pea. Desert ironwood has a long life span of 1500 years, shows its power to endure in much hard desert environment.


It is a slow-growing desert plant, grows up to a height of 25 feet, has blue and grey color leaves. Desert ironwood likewise has the power to alter the environment around it. The tones of adult desert ironwood reduce the temperature by approximately 15 degrees Fahrenheit. It drops the leaves in heavy dry season likewise blooms in the starting of April.

8.Silver Torch Cactus

Silver torch cactus or wooly torch cactus is a seasonal cactus of the family. It is native to the high mountain regions of Bolivia and Argentina. Its slender, erect, grey-green columns can reach a height of 3 m but are just about 6 cm across. The cactus prefers complementary draining pipes soils, strong sunshine, but low-temperature levels.


Remarkably they utilized to grow at a temperature of -10 degrees Celsius. In its natural environment, it gets plenty of water during the summertime. In cultivation, watering too much in the winter season frequently leads to root rot. They produce crimson, burgundy, round flowers in late summer.

9.Wollemi Pine

Wollemi pine is also referred to as a living fossil, among the world’s rarest plant species. This uncommon plant can only see in the desert location of Australia. Wollemi Pine has a mysterious look, and its stem has a bubbling shape in nature. This evergreen tree is reaching a height of 82– 131 ft.

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The oldest trees are 40 meters in height in the wild and maybe more than 1000 years old. This strange desert plant is also one of the world’s earliest plant species coming from 200 million years of family. Wollemi pine has the power to survive even with a temperature level of -12 degrees Celsius. Each plant of Wollemi pine has both male and female cones within it.

10.Hydnora Africana

Hydrona Africana is the most strange-looking desert plant belonging to Africa. No one can easily determine Hydnora Africana as a plant because of this unnatural physical appearance, similar to that of fungi. This plant is completely leafless in nature and has a deep brown colored flesh stem.


This plant becomes more visible only upon the flowering time. The flowers of Hydnora Africana have a round shape, brown outdoors and orange color inside. It likewise produces a pungent odor to attract bees for pollination.

Amazing Facts
  • Deserts plants are adapted to extreme and harsh climates.
  • Cactuses can be grown in home gardens.
  • There are about 2000 different species of cacti present on Earth.
  • Some species of Cacti have beautiful flowers of different colors.
  • The elephant tree, the desert plant has very beautiful star-shaped flowers mostly of white and cream color.
  • Most desert plants have spines instead of leaves for protection from herbivores.
  • In desert plants, stomata only open at night to conserve water.