Q:

What kind of plants are in the Gobi Desert?

A:

There are many plants in the Gobi Desert, including the saxaul. This is a small tree or shrub that keeps moisture behind its bark, making it an ideal survivor in the desert climate. Saxauls also feature an extensive root system that is capable of reducing soil erosion.

The Gobi Desert also features a small number of edible plants, including wild garlic and wild onion. Taana is a kind of wild onion that herding animals eat.

Shrubs are also common plants in the Gobi Desert. These shrubs have to adapt to having little access to heat and water. Two such shrubs are the convolvulus and tamarix. Convolvus, also known as bindweed, beautifies the landscape with pale pink or white funnel-shaped flowers, and the plant never reaches more than 2 feet high. Tamarix is more tolerant of salt than convolvus and is also called salt cedar.

Another Gobi plant is saltwort, which also goes by the name of beachwort. It is also known for its extreme salt tolerance and its small yellow flowers. Grass, needlegrass, and field wormwood also grow in the Gobi Desert. Like the shrubs, these grasses and herbs have adapted to the climate and retain what little moisture they receive.


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