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Plants of the Thar Desert

Plants growing in arid areas acclimatise to the water deficient conditions, strong sunlight and dry, difficult terrain with a number of physical adaptations. The first is to have a short life cycle, so one actually sees the desert bloom at its best during the brief rainy season. These seasonal plants called ephemerals germinate in the first rains in July, and rush through leaf, flower and fruit, leaving behind hard coated seeds that wait in the dry soil and rock fissures for the next years showers. The perennial plants that include thorny trees and bushes have deep root systems that extend through sand and gravel to tap into low ground water levels. They may also have small or no leaves, or waxy or hairy leaf surfaces, which are adaptations designed to reduce transpiration and reflect sunlight.