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Desert Superpowers

What powers are needed by plants in this arid environment?

The Succulent Garden at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney represents dry environments such as Mexico’s deserts and Australia’s arid shrublands. The main challenge to survive here is the arid environment.
What does ‘arid’ mean? A poem might help you remember...

                                           Hot and dry,
                                           Not a cloud in the sky.
                                           Water nowhere to be found,
                                           Little rain all year round.

Yes that’s right – all the conditions you might expect in a desert.

Enjoy a grand tour around our Succulent Garden in full 360° view to discover plant adaptations in an arid environment.
Some handy instructions as you explore:

  1. Click and hold your mouse or touchpad, then drag it around to view your surroundings. Scroll your mouse or pinch your fingers to zoom in and out.
  2. Click on the icons to view images and various plant adaptations.
  3. Click on the white arrows to go to the next location.

Activities - Desert Superpowers

1. Be a mime!

Have someone read aloud the poem describing an arid environment, while you act it out silently using hand gestures. Miming is a fun way to remember word definitions.

2. Cacti water supply

Cacti store water in a similar way as the sponge. Fill a small dish with water. Take a block of sponge and stand it upright in the dish. What happens to the water level? If all the water disappears, top up with a bit more water and see what happens. You could also sprinkle water on it to imitate rain.

3. Desert plant craft

Try one of these 'Desert Plant Craft' activities.

4. Mapping

Where are the deserts and arid shrublands of Australia found? Plot all the Australian deserts on a map to find out.

5. Cate the cactus

Meet Cate the Cactus! From what you learnt about cactus in the 360 tour above, describe some of the superpowers she might possess. Create other plant characters with different superpowers as her friends. Make a story about their lives in our Succulent Garden or label their superpowers on your drawing.