The desert’s plum – Rumex vesicarius found in Masaken area of Alain Abudhabi

It tastes as plum, the shepherd chew and enjoy the taste

It is very resembling spinach by leaves. The leaves and flowers both are rich sources of Vitamin C. The nature arrangement of Vit C for the desert people gives a sharp sour tasting. Because of its taste, the shepherds/grazers have given the name of the desert’s plum.

Rumex vesicarius in Masaken area Alain
Rumex vesicarius in Masaken area Alain

Synonyms and Common names

Acetosa vesicaria, Lapathum vesicarium, Rumex roseus, and the common names are as; Bladderdock, homeid, hummayDH

Ethnoecological understanding of Rumex vesicarius

Rumex vesicarius appears after the rains. Its flowers are vibrant in colors and its texture is very thin. When the flower matures, it shed and flies with the winds because of its wings. They grow taller up to 10 inches. Found in North Africa, Arabia, ME, Persia, and Balochistan.

Herbal use; Its leaves are eaten to enrich the gut microbiome and flash the liver and kidneys. Also boiled and ground the leaves into teas and pastes to reduce symptoms of ulcers, scurvy, and fevers. It is edible in different parts of the world, consumed either fresh, salad, soaked in water, or the leaves are cooked. It is high in vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. They also contain beta-carotene and lutein.

Stunning beauty and a great candidate as local flora for lawns and parks

As an ethnoecologist and nature lover, I have been advocating native genetic resources for all purposes. The native flora can be the best choice to use for beauty and nature conservation as well as sustainability.

Rumen vesicarious in Makran Balochistan.
Photo credit: Mujeeb Baluch

The Rumex vesicarius is one of the most beautiful flora among the native herbs. We can use this beautiful flora for the beautification of lawns and parks. We can grow in our homes for beauty as well as herbal purposes, the health goodnesses are already mentioned in the above paragraphs. It will attract beautiful insects and flies and will turn your home into heaven.

Hatta Mountain Hiking and Rumex Album

On the 12th of March 2022, I planned hiking & exploring tour to the Hatta mountain of UAE. Hatta mountain is an amazing place, an attractive tourist destination, and a beautiful landscape. Surrounded by the Hajar Mountains, Hatta is covered in undulating peaks and troughs perfect for hiking. You can trek along the winding wadis at the foothills of the mountains, near the border with Oman. Here you’ll see the varied terrain, from sandy patches to sharp rocks. Hiking offers a sense of peace and adventure for all types and ages with lots to explore along your journey. Discovering Hatta by foot is the best way of truly experiencing Dubai’s largest national park.

Here I’m going to share some very important pictures of the landscape and the Rumex vesicarius flora.

Landscape diversity of the Hatta mountain UAE

I hereby share some very important and self-explanatory images of the landscape diversity of Hatta mountain, Dubai UAE. Apparently a dry and arid ecosystem but you can find a wide range of flora and fauna biodiversity in the region.

The beautiful Morning Glory (Convolvulus cephalopods) in the desert of Alain UAE

Desert Morning Glory is a perineal shrub

You can briefly read about the beautiful Morning Glory (perineal shrub Convolvulus cephalopods) in the desert of Alain United Arab Emirates. It is a perineal shrub, found in the Arabian Peninsula, ME, and Persia. The flora is very hardy and well adapted to the desert ecosystem and provides a charismatic beauty to the desert. It is highly drought tolerant and can sustain longer drought for years. Being a desert ecologist, my main interest in the flora (of the desert) has some connection with the camels and other livestock. The flora which provides food to the camels in the desert ecosystem is my top interest while exploring the desert. Convolvulus cephalopods is a very hard and tolerant plant and even the camels cannot vanish it from the desert. It is has a tough body full of hair making it sustainable in the desert. The dense and thick blanket of hair absorbs water from the atmosphere and diverts water back to the plant during transportation and that is the unique strategy of the flora to conserve water.

The height and width of the Convolvulus cephalopodus

The shrub spread with many stems and covers an area up to 3 feet and the height reaches up to 28 inches. The width and height of the shrub depend on many factors such as age, protection, habitat, season, and climate. Here are some pictures showing the width and the height of the shrub. The measurement is taken by iPhone x Pro.

A candidate shrub to be used for the beautification of lawns and parks

I have been advocating native flora to be used for the greening and beautification of an ecosystem. The urban ecosystems can be a habitat of choice for the native flora. It can help in the beautification of the lawns and parks and provide habitat to the local wildlife. On the other hand, the urban places will provide an opportunity for the conservation of the native flora.

Morning Glory provides habitat to different insects, flies, beetles, bees, and much other miniature wildlife. I explore the desert of the UAE and document the flora (main emphasis) and fauna of the country. UAE is a beautiful country with a living desert rich with floral and faunal biodiversity. You can visit my website and can read a wide range of articles about the desert, biodiversity, camels and other native livestock, best practices, camel farming, camel milk, and other important topics. You can find a beautiful video of the flora on my youtube channel. Please subscribe and share.

Convolvulus cephalopodus video in the desert

The annual Brassicaceae erupted after a shower in the Arabian desert غريده

Eremobium aegyptiacum (Leisla)

Brassicaceae (Mustard) is found in almost all the desert/drylands, i.e. Sahara, ME, Arabia, Persia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. We have some very fresh information about the Eremobium aegyptiacum, a large family with an interesting and beautiful flowering of 4 petals.

Eremobium aegyptiacum herb
Eremobium aegyptiacum herb in Masaken area, Alain Abu Dhabi

Wild Ancestor of many leafy and pod vegetables

This plant is the wild ancestor of many of our vegetables as; Broccoli, cauliflower, Canola, Radish, cabbage, rapeseed, mustard, and many more.

Ecological role and feed of primary consumers

It plays a very important role in the rangelands/desert ecology providing food to a range of wild and domesticated animals like bees, insects, bugs, rabbits, sheep, goats, deers, etc. It is the food of choice for the sheep helping in the body compensation after the dry winter period. It is an attractive flowery herbage in the desert and provides nectars to the desert bees. It erupts after a shower in the month of February and March, completing the life cycle in a short season, and burst its pods spreading seeds before the harsh summer. You can see a microniche of the beautiful flora, flourishing in the desert landscape of Alain.

The camel also loves this flora, mainly because of its high protein content and spicy taste.

A spicy salad

I eat it when exploring and walking the desert. It is a very delicious, healthy, and spicy salad in the deserts. Its pods resemble the horn of the cattle and we call it Shakari (horn) in Pashtu.

Eremobium aegyptiacum in Qatar

Can be a beautiful flora for the lawns and parks

I have been promoting native flora not only for the greening of the desert ecosystem and livestock food but as a beautification agent for the lawns and parks. It will not only provide a panoramic view to the lawns and parks but also a very sustainable and healthy ecosystem; providing habitat to the local and native wildlife. A shower of rain in a year is enough to sustain the beauty and lifecycle of the highly adapted desert flora. This way a municipality can save millions of liters of water annually and the other expenses (pesticides, fertilizers, and other costs) as well. This idea will give a boost to the nature conservation move and will help in sustainable lawns and parks.

This plant can grow taller up to 14 inches and spread on the ground up to 23 inches without any additional support.

For further understanding of the Eremorium aegyptiacum

This gallery of pictures of the flora will help you in further understanding the plant.

You can watch a beautiful video of the flora made in the desert, in the Masaken area near Alain UAE.

Eremorium aegyptiacum in the desert.

Arabian Boxthorn (Lycium shawii), AWSAJ in Arabic

Before, I wrote as ‘Please help me in the identification of this climber shrub’ but I knew the answer. Thanks to my friend Saharan Shephard who replied to my query and provided the name with some details.

The shrub has weak stems (mostly many) and climbs on other trees. I found it in Alain Abu Dhabi. It is in the flowering stage now. It has small simple leaves, thorny stalks, and red cherries (though I found one). According to Wikipedia, it is found throughout the Arabian Peninsula.

Arabian boxthorn is a spreading, very spiny shrub growing 1 – 3 meters tall, exceptionally becoming a small tree up to 4.5 meters tall. The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as food and medicine. It is also grown as a hedge.

Here the Lycium flora is climbed on an Acacia tortillas tree. I found only one fruit, yellow berry. Inside the fruit is a few small seed-like tomatoes.
Beautiful flowers with olive-like leaves
The stalks are blackish in color

Some more details about the flora Lycium shawii

Lycium shawii is highly adapted to desert ecosystems. The thin-leaved, rigid bush grows up to 3 meters (9.8 feet) high, with a lot of branches and alternating spines that vary in size, and grow along the branches and on their tips. The leaves narrow towards their base. It produces small whitish-pink or purple flowers from Sep to Apr. The fruit is small red pea-sized (seedy berries), edible, and used as herbal medicine as well. The flora like to be the neighbor of Acacia tortillas and Prosopis cineraria to climb and thrive better.

Lycium shawii climbed on an Acacia tortillas tree
Lycium shawii climbed on an Acacia tortillas tree
The shrub has a weaker stem, can’t erect by itself
The thorny stalk of the Lycium shawii

Is it native or exotic?

Yes; It is native to the desert ecosystem of the Arabian Peninsula and some parts of Africa.

It can be used as hedging, fencing, and live wall, my exceptional idea of replacing exotic plants with native flora.

Macro flower photography of the Tetraen qatarensis with beautiful wildlife

I love the desert ecosystem, a calm place with wide horizons and well-adapted bio-players sustaining life in challenging conditions. I always walk in the desert as an explorer and learn from nature on regular basis. My interest is mainly focused on the native flora and the inhabitants relying on such flora. As I walk, I document the deserts’ facts and share them with you people to read, learn and understand the hidden but interesting facts of life in the desert.

Lately, I’m much focusing on the very precious and highly adapted flora (Tetraena qatarensis synonym Zygophyllum qatarense), everything related to this beautiful shrub. Here are the links, you can read in detail about my work compiled on this precious flora.

In this article, I’m sharing some macro photography about the tiny wildlife serving and living in the Tetraena qatarensis. In the pictures, you will see beautiful flowers, flies, robber flies, and other tiny creatures. You will be able to see the close view of the complete flowers, stigma, pistil, and the maturing fruits of the shrub. With each image, there is some brief information that can help you understand the purpose of the picture.

For further reading, go to the links below