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Desert Hyacinth

Cistanche tubulosa


A desert plant native to Qatar - popular for use in medicinal remedies. This plant forms sandy mounts where it grows. C. tubulosa forms tiny seeds that can lay dormant for years, withstanding the harsh desert conditions in which it grows.




Some sites show C. tubulosa with purple flowers and some don't. I know it is a Cistanche of some sort but now I am doubting the ID somewhat. None of the species within the Cistanche genus produce chlorophylls which means they are unable to photosynthesise. This means they have adapted to a holoparasitic lifestyle, getting their nutrition solely from other host plants.

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Jim Nelson
Jim Nelson 5 years ago

The desert can produce such beauty and color! Nice spotting, Elsa.

injica 8 years ago

Beautiful colors!

Rolo 8 years ago


Elsa 8 years ago

That's very interesting! I'll add it to the notes, thanks Maria :)

Maria dB
Maria dB 8 years ago

Great spotting! I'm guessing you already saw the wikipedia page on this? Another site adds that it cannot synthesize chlorophyll directly and therefore has no green coloration.

I love the colours in the plant!

Spotted by

Doha, Ad Dawhah, Qatar

Spotted on Jan 30, 2013
Submitted on Jan 31, 2013

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