On planet Earth there are many types of ecosystems, each of them with its own characteristics that have forced plants to adapt or die, since these conditions can also change as the years go by. Thanks to that, there is such a variety of plant beings, and one of those types is called halophytes.
These are very interesting, since it is very curious that they are able to live in an environment like the one they live in. But, What exactly are they?
What is a biosimilar
Halophytes are those plants whose roots are in contact with salty water or that live in soils with a large amount of saltwhich is why they are known as salt plants. Naturally, they have a certain amount of salt inside, but they eliminate the excess through the salinity-secreting trichomes (more or less visible bumps on the “skin”).
The mechanism implies that they concentrate the amount of salt they contain in their leaves, but when they fall or die, they must absorb much more.
What types are there?
It is estimated that 2% of all the plants in the world are halophytes, which are classified into two large groups:
- Strict: are those that can only live in salty environments.
- Optional: they are those that tolerate a large amount of salt, but can also live in areas of low salinity, such as the grass of the salt flats or Spartina.
Some examples are:
It is a perennial grass known as marram or reed that grows on the beaches of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Develops erect stems up to 1,2 metersand its leaves are grayish-green.
It can be cultivated on sandy soils, to fix the soil and thus prevent erosion. In fact, it was used for this purpose in the Landes de Gascogne (France). Resists up to -7ºC.
It is known as dune bell or sand bell, and it is a fast-growing, lively grass native to the coasts of Europe that reaches a height of between 60 and 90 centimeters. During the summer it produces pink bell-shaped flowers.
Medicinal properties are attributed to it; moreover, it has been used as a laxative, diuretic, febrifuge, and healing agent. Withstands low temperatures down to -5ºC.
El coconut tree It is a tropical palm native to the beaches of the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific. It grows very fast if the climate is warm all year round and it has enough water. It can reach 30 meters in height, with a slender trunk that measures 30-35 centimeters in diameter.. The leaves are pinnate, up to 5 meters long, and it produces fruits that, as we know, are the coconut.
It can be grown both in gardens near the sea and far from it, what is important is that there are never frosts and that the land has very good drainage.
Beach spurge is a perennial herb found in Macaronesia, the Mediterranean region, and the Canary Islands. Grows up to 75 centimeters talland its stems sprout green, very small, overlapping leaves.
It is a plant typical of warm regions that have a mild climate, and therefore does not withstand very extreme temperatures.
It is known as sea lily and it is a bulbous plant that lives in the fixed dunes of the Atlantic coasts, including those of the Mediterranean. The leaves are tapered, bluish-green in color, and the flowers are white, up to 15 centimeters long.
It is very interesting for cultivation, since resists drought very well if it is on the ground. In fact, it needs a dry period to develop normally and flourish. Withstands frosts down to -7ºC.
propagating through a pine forest (Pinus halepensis).
El Aleppo pine it is one of the few of its kind that can live a few meters from the sea. On the beaches of the Balearic Islands it is very, very common, as it forms groves a short distance from the water. But it is also grown in gardens, as it grows just as well on the beach as it does in clay soil.
Reaches a height of 25 metersand over time it acquires a tortuous trunk, with an irregular crown formed by green acicular leaves that are renewed throughout the year. Resists up to -7ºC.
It is a deciduous perennial herb known as crabgrass originating in America, both north and south. Reaches a height of 1 to 1,5 meterswith hollow stems from which elongated green leaves sprout.
Its cultivation is not recommended, as it has a great invasive potential.
Where they live?
We can find them naturally in marshes, beaches, swamps, and mangroves. For this reason, there are many more than we think that can be watered with salt water.
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