Plants that grow in arid areas don’t have an easy life. They use some clever tactics to survive:
The suikerkannetjie has broad, flat leaves that keep the soil arounds its roots cool and damp.
This succulent’s leaves are buried below the ground, with a translucent top surface (a leaf window or “venster” in Afrikaans) which allows sunlight to enter the leaves for photosynthesis.
The leaves of this lithop eventually dry out and form a white husk, which will protect the next year’s young leaves. The white colour reflects the sun’s rays and keeps the plant cool.
Old leaves of the krapogie (“crab’s eye” in translation) turn bright white in summer, protecting the plant from the sun. When this happens, the plant looks like a small pile of white eggs.