A xerophyte is a plant which has adapted to life in dry climates - where little water uptake is possible.
Roots are extensive and shallow because the periodic, short and light rains do not penetrate the ground with more than a few inches of water.
Roots are dense and hairy to increase surface area.
- In cacti, leaves have become spines. This reduces the surface area of the leaves and therefore reduces water loss from the plant.
- Some plants only have their stomata open at night; and some have fewer stomata. These both reduce water loss by evaporation and transpiration.
Stomata are often sunken and surrounded with hairs that trap water vapor. This decreases transpiration.