The Desert
The desert is very dry and often hot.  Annual rainfall averages less than 10 inches per year, and that rain often comes all at the same time.  The rest of the year is very dry.  There is a lot of direct sunlight shining on the plants.  The soil is often sandy or rocky and unable to hold much water.  Winds are often strong, and dry out plants.  Plants are exposed to extreme temperatures and drought conditions.  Plants must cope with extensive water loss.

Desert Plant Adaptations

Cactus with Spines Cactus with Hair Cactus with Waxy Leaves
This cactus displays several desert adaptations: it has spines rather than leaves and it stores water in its stem. This cactus displays light-colored hair that helps shade the plant. This plant has a waxy coating on its leaves.
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