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Desert Plants



Desert Plants
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.5

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    candlewood, flamingsword, nopalitos, slimwood, best, accordion, radiation, woody, dormant, scarcity, region, tongs, beginning, expand, interesting, extreme
     content words:    Sonoran Desert, Southwest United States, Giant Saguaro, Prickly Pear Cactus, Native Americans, Chihuahuan Deserts, Night Blooming Cereus


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Desert Plants
By Sharon Fabian
  

1     Many deserts are hot, and in the summer they are very hot! However, hot deserts also experience extreme temperature changes. After a really hot day there might be a surprisingly cold night. Deserts get very little rain, and it is so dry there that some rain actually evaporates before it hits the ground. In the desert, you get about two times as much solar radiation as you would get in a more humid region. To survive in the desert, you would have to consider hazards like sunburn, dehydration, the temperature extremes, and possibly a scarcity of food. What would you need to survive in the desert?
 
2     Desert plants are expert survivors. One characteristic of desert plants that people always notice is their survival adaptations. Some plants have physical adaptations that make it possible for them to survive the rugged desert life. Other plants have adapted their behavior, or their lifestyle, to make survival possible.
 
3     Desert plants with physical adaptations often have a special water storage system. Others may have especially long roots to reach as much water as possible. Cacti (the plural form of cactus) are one of the best known desert plants. Cacti are designed to store water from one rainfall to the next.

Paragraphs 4 to 9:
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