25 April 2023

Cakile arabica - Dhahran

Whilst walking around the Waste Water Lake in Dhahran I came across a good number of small purple flowering plants, about 60 cm tall, growing in stable sand that turned out to be Cakile Cakile arabica. This plant has purple flowers that are 12-20mm wide and give off a sweet fragrance. They tend to grow in colonies, which in rainy years are so extensive that they create a sea of pinky-purple in the desert. Insects, especially butterflies and moths, find it a good food source. This species occurs only in Arabia, north to Syria and Iraq, and in the Sinai Peninsula.