Articles/The Kingdom’s iconic trees

The Kingdom’s iconic trees

أشجار المملكة تاريخ وطبيعة زاخرة

11 JAN 2021

Source

Source: Abeer Al-Amoudi

A wealth of different plants can be found in Saudi Arabia due to the country’s climatic and geographical diversity. Each region of the Kingdom has its own indigenous trees that are used for different purposes. Wafy documents the most important types that can be found in the country.

Arak

The Arak tree is abundant south of the Kingdom, particularly Abha and Jazan. It is a fast-growing tree that can withstand heat, drought and soil salinity. Many farmers plant it to stop the encroachment of sand and as barriers on the sides of roads and gardens. Arak trees also have medical and economic benefits. The tree, scientifically called Salvadora Persica, produces small red edible fruits.

For centuries, they have famously been used to produce a natural toothbrush called miswak, extracted from the roots.

Samar

This tree is particularly abundant in the Madinah province. Thorny and of medium height, they mostly grow in valleys and coastal plains.

Samar is known to endure drought, high temperatures, and extremely arid conditions. Its bark secretes a red and blackish liquid that is used as a treatment and disinfectant for wounds and casting fractures.

The tree, scientifically known as Acacia tortilis, grows flowers on which bees feed, producing Samar honey – one of the finest types used as a treatment for many diseases. They are also a great source of food for camels and sheep. Parts of the tree are used to build roofs and for firewood.

Sycamore

This type of tree is abundant in the western and southwestern regions of the Kingdom, especially in Wadi Rahab that spans the Rijal Alma and Duba governorates.

The sycamore is a giant tree often used by villagers as a location to teach children. Its branches and fruits are a source of food for animals or used for the manufacture of wooden beehives.

Rqaa

An endangered large perennial tree, Rqaa mostly grows in the Tanumah governorate, Asir province. It is planted by streets and in parks and public gardens due to its tolerance of extreme temperatures during the summer and winter seasons.