Many plants are
able to survive in a desert; indeed, very few areas on Earth have no life
at all. Desert plants have adaptations to live in the heat with little
water. They are short and grow far apart from each other, so the roots
of each plant can collect and store water. Many bushes grow and flower
rapidly after a rain shower. Some plants are deciduous during the dry
season; others have leaves that remain but are adapted to minimize loss
of water. Plants called succulents, which have thick bark, swollen stems,
and fat leaves to store water, do well in this harsh environment. Other
plants have spines (modified leaves) and green stems to manufacture nutrients.
Oases occur where underground water comes close to the ground surface.
The vegetation is more lush here, and oases are very attractive to wildlife.