Saxaul (Haloxylon ammodendron)

Saxaul treeThe saxaul plant is found either as a small tree or as a large shrub with heavy, coarse wood and spongy, water-soaked bark. The branches of the young trees are vivid
green (new growth) and hanging and turn brown, gray, or white as the tree matures.  The wood is heavy and coarse. The leaves are reduced to very small, pointed scales so that the plant appears nearly leafless.  The flowers are small and yellow.

Where to Find: The saxaul is found in desert and arid areas. It is found on the arid salt deserts of Central Asia, particularly in the Turkestan region and east of the Caspian Sea.

Edible Parts: The thick bark acts as a water storage organ. You can get drinking water by pressing quantities of the bark. This plant is an important source of water in the arid regions in which it grows.

Young and old Saxaul trees

A desert peppered with Saxaul bushes and shrubs

Saxaul tree

Distinctive Saxaul tree leaves