Commonly known as the Great Indian Desert, the Thar Desert in northwest India is considered the seventh largest desert in the world, comprising a total of 77,220 square miles, according to Indianetzone. Although the desert is very inhospitable to plants and animals, a number of hardy flora species do survive in its harsh, windy climate. Populations of these plants occur mostly in scattered clumps that increase with the arrival of rainfall.
This erect desert shrub can reach a height of 10 feet when fully grown and has multiple shoots that extend from its root structure. Like all Thar Desert plants, acacia jacquemontii is extremely hardy and able to tolerate high winds, extreme temperatures and long droughts. Between February and May the acacia jacquemontii sprouts sweet-scented yellow flowers. This plant's fast growing taproots enable it to extract moisture from the lower soil layers and stay green throughout the dry season.
This small green shrub is found in the Thar Desert and grows in dense thickets between 4 and 6 feet tall and between 1 and 2 feet wide. This frost-hardy plant can withstand high winds and extremely dry soil. People in the region use calligonum polygonoides to feed livestock, make charcoal and prepare the Indian condiment known as raita. Calligonum polygonoides buds are also eaten with salt and buttermilk, and its flowers can be used to make bread. Overgrazing and sand mining have put the calligonum polygonoides under threat in recent years.
Dactyloctenium scindicum is a mat-forming perennial shrub commonly found in the Thar Desert. The plant grows between 2.76 and 17.72 inches tall and produces leaves that are 0.4 to 4.3 inches long and 0.06 to 0.1 inches wide. Dactyloctenium scindicum also produces small flowered spikelets between 0.16 and 0.31 inches long. The altitude range for the dactyloctenium scindicum is between 197 and 2,723 feet. This plant grows primarily in sandy soils found in brushland and dry grasslands throughout the Thar Desert region.
Commonly known as honey tree, desert teak or marwar teak, this deciduous, nearly evergreen tree grows on hill slopes, sand dunes and ravines throughout the Thar Desert region. Its narrow, sword-shaped leaves grow between 2 and 4.72 inches long. Roheda also produces tubular orange, yellow and red flowers that appear in the springtime. People in the region mainly use roheda for timber, firewood and charcoal. Its leaves, flowers and fruit also provide food for goats, sheep and camels. The plant also has medicinal benefits and is used to treat syphilis, urinary infections, gonorrhea, liver diseases, leucoderma, enlargement of the spleen and abscess.
- Photo Credit Win Initiative/Photodisc/Getty Images
Animals of the Thar Desert
The Thar Desert is located in parts of India and Pakistan and is known as the Great Indian Desert. It is bounded...
Facts About Deserts
Some deserts, such as the Mojave and the Sahara, are sandy, sun-baked wastelands; others, such as the frigid polar deserts of Antarctica...
Saudi Arabia Desert Plants
To many the word desert is synonymous with barren and desolate; an assessment that couldn't be further from the truth. From the...
Desert Plants of India
The desert region of India is represented by the Thar desert. The Thar desert is made up of barren stretches of land,...
Animals & Plants Found in the Gibson Desert
The Gibson Desert is a 156,300-square-kilometer region in Western Australia. It has a very small populuation, representing less than three percent of...
Ten Facts on Hot Deserts
Hot deserts are dispersed throughout the world on four of the seven continents. Hot deserts are classified as subtropical biomes meaning the...
Endangered Plants of Rajasthan
Rajasthan is the largest state in the Republic of India. Most of the Great Indian Desert is located inside Rajasthan, as are...
List of Deserts in India
India's dry desert landscape has given rise to great civilizations and is an area of extreme climates and inhospitable terrain. Arid desert...