Why the desert plants have thorns?

The spiky shrubs such as Cactus are good to look at, but feels hard to maintain as the thought of sharp pain that those thorns can cause will not let most of you say we would love to have one. Desert plants like Cactus, Agave or Mesquite have to survive in deserts where the water is scarce. These desert plants have to fight many odd circumstances to survive.

Other plants lose moisture through their pores which they have on their leaves and stem. So, these desert plants need to avoid those pores so as to lock the minimum levels of moisture they have. Hence, these leaves don’t have pores and the leaves become hard with dry spines or thorns. These thorns conserve water by not letting out the moisture content at all. The greener part of the bottom part of a leaf has a minimum activity which helps the plant to survive. The spikes cover the pores as well defend themselves from getting nibbled.

  • They are short as their growth mechanism is slower.
  • Desert plants need to use the little water they have frugally.
  • Even their growth rate is very slow compared the normal plants.

So these smart spiky shrubs grow slowly, conserving their resources and defending themselves.