The Strong and Resilient Plant of Desert; Zygophyllum (Zygophyllum qatarense)


Eye opening fact, how Zygophylum qatarense survive and sustain in the desert?
Surviving in the difficult and challenging environmental condition

The camel loves Zygophylum qatarense because of 2 main reasons; rich source of water and a treasure of salts.

Dr. Raziq Kakar

Ethnoecological knowledge about Zygophyllum qatarense

Zygophyllum qatarense is a salt-tolerant plant, found in the Arabian Peninsula, Persian Gulf, and the Gulf of Oman.  In adaptation to retaining water in its saline environment, it has small compact leaves that are rather fleshy and succulent (bulbs). The leaf has two leaflets and the flowers have four or five delicate petals. (picture). It grows in arid conditions and is both drought and salt tolerant (Xerophyte as well as halophyte). In the Persian Gulf area, the summer is very hot, any ground moisture present evaporates and the soil becomes increasingly salty. Under these conditions, the leaves dry up and fall off the plant, and it can survive in a leafless state for several years. When significant rain falls in winter, the soil becomes less salty and the plant is stimulated into new growth. The seeds only germinate in rainy conditions as the coat of the seed is very hard. https://arkbiodiv.com/2021/11/12/how-zygophyllum-qatarense-support-wildlife-and-livestock-in-the-desert/amp/

Pharmacological Action and Toxicity
Aqueous extract of the plant is documented to produce a lowering of blood pressure and acts as a diuretic and antipyretic, local anesthetic, with anti-histamine activity, stimulation, and depression of isolated amphibian heart, relaxation of the isolated intestine, contraction of the uterus, and vasodilation. The extract antagonized acetylcholine action on skeletal muscle and acted additively to the muscle relaxant effect of d-tubocurarine. The juice from fresh leaves and stems is known to be used as an abrasive cleanser and as a remedy for the treatment of certain skin diseases.

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