Tuesday, 4 February 2014


This is a special post since I normally only post on Mondays, but a reader liked my last post about using herbs for landscaping, and asked about landscape herbs for Saudi Arabia. As I didn’t have the answer right off, but love doing research, I told her I would see what I could find. I found 11 herbs native to Saudi Arabia, an important feature, as it stands to reason native plants would survive better than introduced species.
  1. Asphodelus fistulous 30cm tall, Seed, (A), Sun/Pt.Shade, Flowering stem with many white star-shaped flowers, sandy soil, tolerates salinity, must be irrigated, wind resistant, frost tolerant, attractive carpet when massed.
  2. Bacopa monnieri Creeping, Plant (Cuttings), (P), Shade/Sun, white bell-shaped flowers, wet areas, wind resistant, frost tolerant, fast-growing ground cover.
  3. Blepharis cilaris (Acanthaceae) – 30cm tall, Seed, (P), Sun, blue flowers, well-drained sandy and stony areas, drought tolerant, wind resistant, frost tolerant, mass plant.
  4. Cressa cretica – Low-growing, Seed, (P), Sun, small white fragrant flowers,  sandy/silty soil, high salinity tolerance, drought resistant, wind resistant, frost tolerant, mat-like growth useful in saline areas.
  5. Datura stramonium – Bush 60-150cm, (A) Sun, showy white trumpet like flowers, foul-smelling, sandy/silty soil, drought tolerant, needs wind protection, frost tolerant, mass plant, fruit toxic.
  6. Gynandriris sisyrinchium - .5m tall, Plant/Cuttings, (P), Shade/sun, interesting lilac-blue or purple flowers, moist, well-drained, nutrient rich soil, needs regular irrigation, wind resistant, frost tolerant, forms dense mat.  
  7. Heliotropium bacciferum – 40cm. tall, Seed, (P), Sun, small white flowers, sandy/silty soil, high salinity tolerant, drought tolerant, wind resistant, frost tolerant, excellent mounding plant.
  8. Lippia nodiflora – Creeping, Rooted stem cuttings, (P), Sun/pt.shade, tiny white or pink flowers, sandy soil, low salinity tolerance, water demanding, wind resistant, frost causes die-back, good visual substitute for grass but will not tolerate much trampling.
  9. Limonium axillare (Sea Lavender) – Spreading shrub 30-40cm tall, Seed, Sun, many small pink or purplish flowers, sandy/silty soil, high salinity tolerance, drought tolerant but best if soil kept moist, wind resistance, killed by frost, withstands salt spray, useful in coastal areas.
  10. Pancratium maximum – 30cm tall, Bulbs, (P), Sun, spectacular white flowers, well-drained sandy soil, low salinity tolerance, water demanding, wind resistant, frost tolerant, gorgeous effect when mass planted and allowed to naturalise.
  11. Portulaca oleracea – 20cm tall, Rooted stem cuttings, Sun/pt.shade, clusters of small yellow flowers, sandy/silty soil, medium salinity tolerance, drought tolerant, wind resistant, frost tolerant, useful ground cover.
SOURCE: (1) Native and Introduced Species for Naturalistic Landscape in                   Saudi Arabia.  Geoff Ricks, Dept. of Landscape Architecture, School of             Environmental Design, Faculty of Engineering, King Abdulaziz                           University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
 (2) Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This was an interesting project and I learned a bit about Saudi Arabia in the process. For instance, I always pictured Saudi Arabia as a hot, dry, desert land, but when you read about the native plants you find out that some require water, some are frost tolerant, some grow best in shade, etc. This gives you an entirely different picture and that's why I love doing research. You always find out something new and interesting.



  1. I feel very happy and thankful for your extra effort to help me and many in Saudi Arabia . I really appreciate your concern with the reader .
    I will save this and get help from your blog always and also start doing little bit of research myself .
    Even sitting far away you have written every bit of detail about local herb in your blog , i must have taken a lot of your time.
    And i am happy that you know about Saudi Arabia now .
    Here in Saudi Arabia there are different types of areas some having greenery some totally desert and temperature is also different in different areas. There is rain , and the weather was really cold here in Riyadh in last 4 months and in some parts like Tabuk , Taif and Hail there was snow. Abha and khamis masheet are also very cold , even being part of saudi arabia there people do not use air conditioners. And will you believe i turned off heating at my home from last week.
    SO you can expect how was weather. Other parts are hot.
    And you know one interesting thing , my husband is working in King abdul Aziz university and he do not know all this :)
    i wish you all the success in life

  2. Hi Anna
    I was happy to find the information for you and appreciate all the information you shared about your country. I love learning new stuff and now I know even more about Saudi Arabia. Isn't it interesting that your husband works at King Abdul Aziz University. I wonder if he knows Geoff Ricks.
    All the best,

    1. Hi Lenie
      I shared your information with lot of of friends. They were all happy to know about this.

      Relating to King Abdul aziz university, it is one of biggest universities in Saudi Arabia . It has a lot of departments and colleges , so normally people from one department hardly know anyone from other.
      Still i will ask from him.

    2. Hi Andleeb

      You will have to stay in touch and let me know if you do use any of the herbs mentioned in your garden.
      It has been most enjoyable getting to know you.
      All the best


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Thanks - Lenie