X for Xerophytes!!

This post is a part of A-Z Blogging Challenge April 2013.

When I was thinking of what to blog about for ‘X’, out came another plant type to my mind; Xerophytes. Their nomenclature is so appropriate as “Xero” means Dry and “Phyte” means Plant in Greek and hence Xerophytes- plants living in dry areas are named accordingly.They are another intelligent kind of plant species and are unique in their own way.Their adaptability to the environment they are subjected to is their standout feature making them an interesting variety of plant to know about.

Xerophytes which are known to most scarcely educated botanists is Cactus.Unlike other plant species, which demand a lot from the nature for their survival such as sunlight, water etc., xerophytic plants are largehearted by accepting whatever the nature offers to it. They make so many changes in their morphology, physiology to ensure that they survive to the maximum.Some of their adaptations are truly spectacular to know about and after knowing this no human can say plants don’t have emotions or plants can’t think.

First of all, as these plants reside predominantly in dry areas their major need is conservation of water. Water is poured out of the leaves through the stomata by the process called transpiration.To avoid this, leaves are not present in xerophytes which are replaced by thorns.These thorns also act as a protective coating for these plants.They conserve water by having succulent water inside their body/trunk. Evaporation happens when plants are exposed to air and to combat this they reduce their overall surface area.Some plants also have the ability to reflect sunlight, which is unique for a plant species.The amount of evolution which happens is so much that it’s very hard to classify species in categories.

Xerophytes are wonderful species of plants and teaches the characteristics of adjust-ability, intelligent survival, accustoming oneself to any environment you are put to and fighting heart-out till the death to humans. Plants and Nature are on earth to teach us ways to live our lives wisely without harming our fellow species.

Ram Thilak

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