Shop Windows to the Universe

Check out the fun Earth science related bumper stickers in our online store! Express yourself!
This saguaro cactus holds plenty of water and has a waxy layer for protection from the Sun.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of Corel Photography

Desert Plants

There are many plants that live in the desert. They have to hold water inside them to stay alive. These plants are called succulents. Cacti are the most famous desert plants.

There are many species of cactus. Some of them look like green poles, other ones look like spiny rocks or weeds. They all have a soft inside that holds water, and a waxy layer on the outside to protect them from the Sun.

There are other plants besides cacti. Some have flowers and thorns, and some even have poison!

Last modified September 6, 2000 by Jennifer Bergman.

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Our online store includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, as well as books on science education!

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

Desert Birds

Did you know that many species of birds live in the desert? You have probably heard of the roadrunner or seen the cartoon. The roadrunner is a real bird that lives in the desert! It prefers to run rather...more

Desert Insects and Arachnids

There are all kinds of insects in the desert! Some of them cause a lot of problems. The locusts fly from place to place, eating all the plants they see. But not all desert bugs are bad. There isn't a...more

Extremophiles

It is easy for living creatures to survive and grow in some places. Other places make it tough for life to get by. Scientists call places that are hard on life "extreme environments". There is a special...more

Life in the Atacama Desert

The Atacama Desert is in Chile in South America. It is one of the driest places on Earth. Somehow a few kinds of plants, animals, and microbes are able to live there. Even some people live and work in...more

The Desert Biome

Deserts are very hot and dry places. Deserts get very little rain each year. So how do plants and animals live here? This section on the desert ecosystem will explain how! Do you know what a desert looks...more

Albedo

This picture was taken from high above our planet. Looking at the Earth from very far away like this we can see that some parts of our planet look light in color, and some parts look dark. The color of...more

Desert Mammals

There are many species of mammals in the desert! Many of them dig holes in the ground to live in. These holes are called burrows. Rats and hamsters live in burrows. Bigger mammals, like the wild horse,...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF