ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Tuwaiq Mountain Range

Updated on June 15, 2012
Tuwaiq Mountain Range (flikr)
Tuwaiq Mountain Range (flikr)

Plant life in the mountains

The Tuwaiq Mountain Range is like a curved backbone down the middle of the Peninsula, stretching from the Nafud Desert in the north down to the Yemen border in the south. On the west side the mountains drop vertically to a flat-bottomed canyon with isolated pinnacles, sheer cliffs and narrow gorges on either side. In the rainy season the water gushes over the ledges forming little whirling pools and fast streams, spreading out when they reach the flat bottom of the valley and then gradually being absorbed into the parched earth. Even after the water has long disappeared, these dry river beds - are full of plant life.

The east side of the Tuwaiq mountains slopes down gently with many finger-like wadis dissecting the limestone plateau, which open into meadows offlowers in the rainy season. The upper reaches of the wadis have many large shady acacia trees, some over seventy years old. One of the largest and longest wadis is the Hanifah Wadi which passes through Riyadh. It starts high up on the back of the Tuwaiq Range about 100 ki lometres north-west of Riyadh and has many acacia trees growing along it. It is the old ┬źDarb al Hijaz┬╗ (Road to the Hijaz and Mecca). The first farms start near the little village of Alayenah and from there to Riyadh there are many farms with palms, fruit trees, tomatoes and other vegetables.

In between the farms and along the rocky sides of the water there are many wiId flowers. The plateau is flanked on the east by ridges of sand - the Dahna Dunes - which curve down from the Nafud Desert to the Rub al Khali or Empy Quarter in the south-east. There are extensive pans of fine silt along the edge of the dunes, called raudha, which, with its diminutive riyadh, signifies valley of flowers. Quite often, in the rainy season parts of these pans are flooded to a depth of several feet, which may remain for two or three months. A carpet of annual plants surrounds these shallow lakes. The Raudha Kharaim, near Rhumah - about 100 kms. north of Riyadhis a favourite pasture for the beduoin and their livestock.

Somewhere deep inside there is a sliver of green which can transform the bush at the first shower of rain (Rhanterium). StiII others have fresh green leaves in the cool season but hard prickly ones in the summer like Blepharis ciliaris, whose deep blue flowers can be seen almost any month of the year.

The hard resistant seed cases of most of them are often protected by hardened sepals which close during dry weather but open up during damp weather to release the seeds (Anvillea). Many of the perennials are poisonous to livestock - Rhazyal Pergularial Calotropis. They mostly produce large seed pods with many seeds. The Acacia seed lings excrete a substance which is off other plantseedlings so reducing competition. The inflated calyx of the Astragalus spinosus can be blown far and wide, carrying the three or four seeds inside, for long distances from the parent plant.

Perennials have several ways of obtaining the all-important moisture. They may have very deep roots reaching down to the humid layers in the soil (Acacia) or they may secrete droplets of calcium chloride or magnesium solution through the skin of the leaves to attract and retain humidity in the air caused by difference in temperature from day to night. The plant can then use the water when it needs it.

Most of the perennials have very extensive root systems. The plants with bulbs have, of course, a store of food, however, they have long, slender leaves, which are tougher than those of more temperate climates. (Iris. Allium) All these plants have adapted in one way or another to the special conditions in which they live and so we find, even in the most inhospitable places, the bright beauty of a flower smiling up at us.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)