Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Xeric Plants

Xeric is not a word that I come across often.
I can add it to my word hoard. I didn't know what it meant until I began looking for the common demonimator of all these plants. They all grow in Xeric environments.
Xeric means relating or adapted to an extremely dry habitat. Succulents such as cacti, aloes, and agaves are xeric plants,


Adenium obesum, commonly known as Desert Rose is one of these plants.I'm thinking of Xeric environments tonight for several reasons. Normally we are a humid, tropical, rainy island. We are currently at the beginning of an uncharacteristically dry season. We are on water rations already.
All of these plants have been grown here and they are probably breathing a sigh of relief and welcoming the hot, dry air. Good riddance to the wet, humid jungle.
Like people, plants that grow in extreme conditions, sometimes develop characteristics such as beauty or toxicity. Often the package is combined. The Desert Rose is highly toxic and cacti make no secret of their armory.
That plants emerging from water-starved, difficult environments survive using beauty and poison is interesting in a Darwinian kind of way.
Not so very different from people after all.
Xeric plants.

9 comments:

Nan Sheppard said...

Beautiful photography as usual! Homesick! What is your camera? I need one.

Nicole said...

Well I have had quite a leaning curve re xeric plants, living in Anguilla.
Amazingly, though, most people here plant mostly water loving tropicals and lawns, and then complain about the water bills (in thousands US per year)or everything dying. Even in the garden nurseries its hard to find the drought tolerant plants.

My Chutney Garden said...

Hi Nicole,
Isn't that always the way? And we struggle here to grow Cacti. :)
My friend's son licked a Desert Rose and it was a BIG deal - he was fine but they insisted that he be monitored all night at the hospital. It's impressively toxic which I did not know.
Hi Nan,
LOL -homesick girl - all those photos were shot at your Mum's house. That's why you are homesick!
They were shot with my Canon 50D which was STOLEN from under my chair at the Jack Horner Pub on Tottenham Court Road, Oxford Circus. We never saw, heard, felt, a thing. I said don't let anybody tell me anything about Trinidad!
It was lovely but I am back with a 500D which is the new Rebel. I'm still waiting to replace my favorite lens - my compact macro -50mm, 2.5.
Love to you.
XX

Pam said...

It is nice to see plants in others gardens I can't grow. Nice to compare notes so to speak. You will have to stop by my bolg in May when the daffodils are in bloom.

KarenG said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog. Of course I had to come over and investigate a blog with such a charming name. Your blog is delightful. I can't wait to come back and read everything at a slower pace.

Dirty Girl Gardening said...

I love those plants.. but thanks for the info. I didn't realize just how toxic they can be.

WizzyTheStick said...

I'm having a raging case of camera envy just about now lol!

The Desert Rose is extremely toxic. I read somewhere that the sap was used to make poison arrows. I am so very nervous about my 18 month old around it. Your story makes me think I just might have to get rid of it - or maybe ask a friend to care take it until he is older:-(


Aruba does the best xeric plant gardens that I have seen. They have the perfect climate for those types of plants too. The only places I saw with lawns there were the resorts. Home gardners used gravel and pebblescapes to show off their xeric plants. Taught me a new word - you did!:)

Anonymous said...

Where did you buy you adenium plants? Or seeds?

Vana said...

Yeah, I wannna know also, where you bought your adenium obesum/desert rose plants. It looks lovely. I would definitely like to get one!