This web age will cover the Flora and Fauna found in the deserts of wouthern Jordan and northern Saudi Arabia (Nabataea).

The Wild Plants of Jordan, their Medical, Perfume and preventative Qualities Mohammed Jbriil il Jiniidi Daar ilAseel 1993 (Arabic, with line drawings)

While living in Abu Lissan southern Jordan I also started a small database of plants and how the bedouin used them. This was coninued by a later medical officer at the clinic in Ras alNaqab.


Shrubs found in Nabataea



Herba-alba Wormwood  Artemisia inculta  Shiyh  Perennial herb with many basal erect leafy stems covered by soft dense to wooly hairs. Leaves dissected, greyish, covered by woolly hairs, stronly aromatic. A medicinal tea is made of the leaves for stomach pains and cramps.

Herba-alba Wormwood Artemisia inculta Shiyh Perennial herb with many basal erect leafy stems covered by soft dense to wooly hairs. Leaves dissected, greyish, covered by woolly hairs, stronly aromatic. A medicinal tea is made of the leaves for stomach pains and cramps.


Trees found in Nabataea

Deep in the valleys of the Hishma Desert, trees and shrubs eke out their subsistance, drawing moisture from short shring showers and run-off from the mountains.

Deep in the valleys of the Hishma Desert, trees and shrubs eke out their subsistance, drawing moisture from short shring showers and run-off from the mountains.


 Broom Tree

Broom Tree


Grape Vine

Grape Vine


 Mandrakes

Mandrakes


Date Palm

Date Palm


Fig Tree

Fig Tree


Olive Tree

Olive Tree


Almond Blossoms

Almond Blossoms


Pomegranite Tree

Pomegranite Tree


Poplars Trees

Poplars Trees




Ancient Olive Trees, over 400 years old

Ancient Olive Trees, over 400 years old



Flowers found in Nabataea

The area we have called Nabataea, contains hundreds of different kinds of wild flowers. When sub-species are considered, the count goes to over 1000. Many of these flowers are only present during April and May, at the end of the rainy season, just before the long hot summer sun scorches everything in it’s path. This page does not attempt to present any sort of systematic or complete coverage of these flowers. If you are interested in a complete lisiting of these plants, contact the Jordan Society for Biological Sciences (JSBS), or the the Plant Biodiversity Database. A good layman’s guide can be found in the full color book: Field Guide to Wild Flowers of Jordan and Neighbourng Countries Dawud M. H. Al-Eisawi, Professor of Botany, P.O. Box 13500 Amman, Jordan 11942, University of Jordan, 1988

Jal'ad Iris  Iris atrofusca  Found in the hills of Nabataea. There are many types of Irises found throughout Nabataea, but the Jal'ad is by far the most common.

Jal'ad Iris Iris atrofusca Found in the hills of Nabataea. There are many types of Irises found throughout Nabataea, but the Jal'ad is by far the most common.


There it is folks, the Black Iris. Just when you thought that you would never see one, one pops up. This beautiful specimen was discovered by Dr. George Kelsy and moved to his garden when it flourished for a couple of years.

There it is folks, the Black Iris. Just when you thought that you would never see one, one pops up. This beautiful specimen was discovered by Dr. George Kelsy and moved to his garden when it flourished for a couple of years.


 Hoary Pepperwort Cardaria draba Gnaybara   White flower cluster atop step with large leaves attached to the stem Presently used by the local Arabs for animal feed

Hoary Pepperwort Cardaria draba Gnaybara White flower cluster atop step with large leaves attached to the stem Presently used by the local Arabs for animal feed





Wild flowers int he field

Wild flowers int he field


Common Anemone  Anemone coronaria  Perennial herb, 15-22 cm long with subterranean corm 1-1.5 cm in diameter, leaves 203 times dissected (parsley like). Flowers 4-7 cm in diameter.

Common Anemone Anemone coronaria Perennial herb, 15-22 cm long with subterranean corm 1-1.5 cm in diameter, leaves 203 times dissected (parsley like). Flowers 4-7 cm in diameter.






This flower came up in Wadi Rum

This flower came up in Wadi Rum



Another flowering plant found in Wadi Rum after it rained

Another flowering plant found in Wadi Rum after it rained



Rain does amazing things to the desert

Rain does amazing things to the desert













Grasses found in Nabataea


Guysoum is a plant that is prized for it's medicinal qualities by the Bedouin. This plant grows throughout southern Nabataea, especially in the high hills around Naqab.

Guysoum is a plant that is prized for it's medicinal qualities by the Bedouin. This plant grows throughout southern Nabataea, especially in the high hills around Naqab.



Weeds and Others found in Nabataea


Xirwa (Khirwa)

Xirwa (Khirwa)







Wild Mint  Several years ago I tried transplanting some wild mint from the Hishma desert to my back yard. I failed in my first two attempts. I finally disconnected the drain pipe from my kitchen sink and ran it directly to the plot where the mint was growing, and then the mint flourished. The original mint plant was taken from Lawrence's Spring, high on the mountain above Wadi Rumm village, where it grew in the shade of the mountain where water seeped from a crack in the rock.  This wild mint is good added to tea, and is especially helpful to those suffering from allergies or asthma.

Wild Mint Several years ago I tried transplanting some wild mint from the Hishma desert to my back yard. I failed in my first two attempts. I finally disconnected the drain pipe from my kitchen sink and ran it directly to the plot where the mint was growing, and then the mint flourished. The original mint plant was taken from Lawrence's Spring, high on the mountain above Wadi Rumm village, where it grew in the shade of the mountain where water seeped from a crack in the rock. This wild mint is good added to tea, and is especially helpful to those suffering from allergies or asthma.


Prickly Pear Catus

Prickly Pear Catus


Animals Found in Nabataea


During the spring, the hills turn green, flowers come out, and sheep enjoy the greenery

During the spring, the hills turn green, flowers come out, and sheep enjoy the greenery









Typical goat that is herded in the mountains of Nabataea.

Typical goat that is herded in the mountains of Nabataea.


A draft horse used for plowing

A draft horse used for plowing






Arabian Oryx

Arabian Oryx


Hamadryas Baboon

Hamadryas Baboon

Special thanks to Julien Voigt for sending us these two pictures.


There are still a few wolves left in the mountains around Kerak in Jordan, and more in the mountains of Saudi Arabia.

There are still a few wolves left in the mountains around Kerak in Jordan, and more in the mountains of Saudi Arabia.


Ibex in the rocks.

Ibex in the rocks.


In all my years and wondering in the desert I have only one seen a Hyena, the dreaded wild animal in the desert.

In all my years and wondering in the desert I have only one seen a Hyena, the dreaded wild animal in the desert.


Hyrax are still found in small numbers in Nabataea.

Hyrax are still found in small numbers in Nabataea.


Arabian Ostrich,   Special thanks to Julien Voigt for sending us this picture.

Arabian Ostrich, Special thanks to Julien Voigt for sending us this picture.


Gekos are found throughout the region.

Gekos are found throughout the region.


Carpet Viper

Carpet Viper


The desert tortoise

The desert tortoise


Wild Chameleon

Wild Chameleon


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