FLORA
The plant life in the Sinai is as diverse and as adapted as the fauna - both on land and under the sea. Often the land plants exhibit 'anti-social' characteristics - bad smell, sticky substances, prickly, spiky and often misleading [looking good but bad news when eaten].

 
  As with the animals they possess well adapted water management mechanisms and though they can survive for long periods without ground water, eventually they will die off with prolonged periods of drought. But, in this case, with the first decent rains, they sprout and restart the cycle. Others however are ephemeral and last long enough to set seed before drying out for another season.
The most fascinating aspect of all is the great wealth of herbal medicine based on the shrubs and herbs of the Sinai. Samwa, a foul smelling plant that not even the camels eat is a proven treatment for diabetes. Baatharan, is a universal panacea for upset stomachs, while the Hammad is good for salads and the fruit of the Nabq looks like an apple but has a tangy taste.

After the rains, which usually fall in the first two months of the year, grass grows up through the sand. Wadis have the richest plant life with bushes, shrubs and trees such as the yellow-flowered acacia.  After spring, wadis fill with the vibrant colours of purple iris, red bladder dock and other flowers. Birds and bees help to pollinate the plants.

Common names both in Arabic and other languages may differ from place to place.

 

All photos courtesy of Bassem Amer:
Acacia Thorn Tree
»Genus = Acacia
»Species = radianna
»Common Name = Sayyal

 
Mangrove
»Genus = Avicennia
»Species = marina
»Common Name = Shoora


Tamarix
»Genus = Tamarix
»Species = aphylla
»Common Name = Tarfa
 
Sodom's Apple
»Genus = Calotropis
»Species = procera
»Common Name = Oshar
Date Palm
»Genus = Phoenix
»Species = dactylifera
»Common Name = Nakhl

 
Boaitheran
»Genus = Artemisia
»Species = judaica
»Common Name =
  Baatharan


Desert Lettuce
»Genus = Rumex
»Species = sp.
»Common Name =
  Hammad

 
Meswaak
»Genus = Salvadora
»Species = persica
»Common Name = Arak
Desert Mellon
»Genus = Citrullus
»Species = colocynthis
»Common Name = Handal
 
Gharqad
»Genus = Nitraria
»Species = retusa
»Common Name =
  Gharqad

Zafra
»Genus = Iphiona
»Species = scabra
»Common Name = Zafra
 
Lasaf
»Genus = Capparis
»Species = sinaica
»Common Name = Lasaf
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GENERAL STATEMENT
FAUNA
FLORA
REEF
GEOLOGY
WEATHER