x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Plants that grow with salty water

Eight plants that could be useful because of their lack of thirst.

Atriplex: About 15 of the 300 species are potentially useful as forage plants. They are shrubby and grow well in sandy and salty soil. They are also rich in protein.

Lasirus scindicus: A perennial grass that grows on rocky ground or shallow, sandy and salty soil. It has good forage value and can also be used for sand stabilisation.

Panicum: A group of 450 grasses found in rich soil. The plant is drought and salt-tolerant and can be used as fodder.

Sorghum:The grass can be used as fodder and is more drought and temperature-resistant than the other plants. Can be harvested three to four times a year.

Cenchrus ciliaris: There are about 25 species of grass such as buffel grass and sand spur. Available in the UAE and considered excellent for pasture in hot and dry areas.

Pearl millet:Grows well in drought-hit areas, with high temperature and low soil fertility. It can adapt well in high salinity soil, and works well in sandy soil.

Distichlis spicata: Known as desert salt grass, it grows along shores and salt flats. Has great potential as forage as it does not retain salt.

Sporobolus virginicus: A coastal grass with high salt tolerance. It is palatable to animals because it is high in protein and minerals.

cmalek@thenational.ae