Desert Plants of India
The desert region of India is represented by the Thar desert. The Thar desert is made up of barren stretches of land, many types of cacti and a few types of trees that are usually short and stout, as the growth has been stunted by the hot desert sun.
The ak, or calotropis gigantea, is a tree that is native to India and grows in the desert. The tree can grow to be 13 feet tall. The tree has green, oval-shaped leaves that grow to be 4 inches long and 3 inches wide. The leaves have protruding veins. The tree blooms in late spring with small clusters of five petals, or star-like flowers. The flowers are dark-purple in color, with cream colored tips. The ak is a very adaptive tree and is able to be grown in most climates, however it thrives in hot, sunny and dry environments.
Jatropha plant, or hatropha integerrima, is a shrub that is native to Southern America, but is also grown in India, including the desert regions. The shrub grows in a rounded or domed form and can grow up to 15 feet tall and 10 feet wide. The leaves of the plant vary in shape, with some being oval, some being fiddle shaped and others having three lobs. The tops of the leaves are always green in color and the underside is a brownish-green color. The plant produces small, 1-inch, star-like, five-petal flowers year round. The flowers are a bright-pink or red in color. The shrub does best when planted in full sun conditions. It is drought tolerant.
Reunjha, or acacia leucophloea, is a tree that is native to southern Asia, but it also grows in the desert region of India. The tree is characterized by the white colored bark that covers the trees trunk and the large, wide spreading limbs. The green leaves of the tree grow in clusters and are feather-like in appearance. They may fall from the tree during dry or cold periods. The tree blooms in late spring through late fall. It blooms with small, light-yellow to cream colored flowers. The flowers give way to yellow and brown colored seed pods. It is best grown in infertile soil and is found in dry-forests, savannas, bush woodlands and desert ecosystems