A desert plant, the Welwitschia mirabilis is beloved among botanists who seek the very old and the very strange. It's a living fossil that survives in the desert, neither a typical succulent or a cactus, and neither a shrub nor a bush. It has been named a dwarf tree, and a director of the Royal Botanic Gardens once described it as "the most wonderful plant ever brought to this country, and the very ugliest."
Among the valleys and foothills in Israel's Negev desert is a plant that can water itself, in a manner of speaking. The desert rhubarb (Rheum palaestinum) is the only known desert-dwelling species to have evolved a self-irrigating mechanism.
The loneliest tree in the world was a solitary acacia in a remote land. It was the only tree in a 400 kilometer radius. Standing alone in the vast Saharan expanse, l'Arbre du Ténéré (the Tree of Ténéré), was modest in size—three meters tall—but its mere survival was both remarkable, and invaluable to desert travelers.