Dirty Word of the Day
Compiled by Teresa Watkins
June 10, 2023
A psammophyte is a plant that grows in sandy and often unstable soils. Psammophytes are commonly found growing on beaches, deserts, and sand dunes. Because they thrive in these challenging habitats, psammophytes are also considered extremophiles, organisms that is able to live (or in some cases thrive) in extreme environments,
The word "psammophyte" consists of two Greek roots, psamm-, meaning "sand", and -phyte, meaning "plant". The term "psammophyte" was first used in German botanical terminology during the early 1900's.
Psammophytes are found in many different plant families, so may not share specific traits. They also come in a variety of plant life-forms, including annuals, ephemerals, grasses, perennials, like Ajuga, English Daisies, red raspberries, small, low shrubs such as lavender, periwinkle, and thyme, and many shrub-like members of the family Ericaceae, such as cranberries, and Florida plants like . Sea oats (Uniola paniculata), Seaweed, and Roseling, (Cuthbertia rosea).
The commonality trait between all psammophytes is a resilience to harsh or rapidly fluctuating environmental factors, such as shifting soils, strong winds, intense sunlight exposure, or saltwater exposure. Psammophytes can have unusually tenacious or resilient roots that enable them to anchor and thrive despite various environmental stressors. Those growing in arid regions have evolved highly efficient physiological mechanisms that enable them to survive despite limited water availability.
Psammophytes grow in regions all over the world and can be found on sandy, unstable soils of beaches, deserts, and sand dunes.
Source: Psammophyte. Wikipedia, 29 Jan. 2023, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psammophyte. Accessed 3 May 2023.
?Sand-Loving Plant Sports Splashy Bloom. Tallahassee Democrat, www.tallahassee.com/story/life/home-garden/2016/06/02/sand-loving-plant-sports-splashy-bloom/85234752/. Accessed 5 May 2023.
Photo Credit: Tallahassee Democrat, Linda Lee, June 2, 2016