White Saxaul

Haloxylon persicum

Species name: White Saxaul
Scientific name: Haloxylon persicum


Locally known as: Ghada


Description: The White Saxaul is a small-sized tree with succulent-like branches. Its wood is heavy and coarse, but its bark is spongy and water-soaked. It has leaves all year round.


IUCN status: Not evaluated.


Key threats: Habitat loss and over grazing


Where they're found today: Arabian Peninsula, Western and Central Asia.


Abu Dhabi’s efforts: As part of EAD’s efforts to promote and protect the White Saxaul, protected areas have been established such as the Al Ghada Protected Area. EAD also currently manages Baynounah Nursery, which has a production capacity of 300,000 seedlings per year. The nursery currently stores the seeds of 58 species of native wild plants including the White Saxaul.


Fun facts:

  1. The fine branches of its shrubs absorb droplets of water from the atmosphere, which drip onto the ground around the bush and serve as an auto watering mechanism.
  2. Sand gathers around the bottom of the shrub, forming hummocks, which serve as burrows for small rodents, snakes, and scorpions.
  3. White Saxaul is a hermaphrodite species, meaning it has both male and female characteristics.
  4. The wood of the plant was traditionally use as firewood.