The desert rhubarb plant was uniquely designed by God to thrive in a desert environment. In the Negev Desert of Isreal, one of the driest places on earth, the average annual rainfall is 3 inches. So, the desert rhubarb can’t rely on rainfall. Instead, it uses a channeling system to irrigate itself.
The leaves of the plant are waxy to promote water flow and heavily grooved with miniature peaks and valleys to channel dew or any rainfall into the root system. In fact, the plant collects 16 times more water during a rain than other plants. Just look at the tiny mountain range on those leaves. If you were an ant, it would be like crossing the Alps.
Many desert dwellers have hoped to harvest precious water in the same way—from the dew that collects each night. Perhaps understanding how God designed the desert rhubarb will help scientists to create “smart materials” that can do just that.
Reference: De Young, Don. July-Sept. 2011. Three-Foot Oasis. Answers, p. 40.
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