Desert rhubarb in bloom (G. Ne’eman)

World’s First Ever Self-Watering Plant Discovered in Israel

The Plant That Can Water Itself

” The Desert Rhubarb can hold 16 times more water than its rivals and has developed a unique ability to effectively water itself in its barren habitat.

Scientists claim ridges in the leaves act like mountain valleys, funnelling the water slowly and directly into the plant while stopping it evaporating.  A team from the Department of Science Education-Biology at the University of Haifa-Oranim, in Israel, said the leaves act like a mini irrigation system.  Lead researcher Professor Gidi Ne’eman said “We know of no other plant in the deserts of the world that functions in this manner.  We have managed to make out the ‘self-irrigating’ mechanism of the desert rhubarb, which enables it to harvest 16 times the amount of water than otherwise expected for a plant in this region based on the quantities of rain in the desert.”

The topography of the leaves channels water to the roots (S. Lev-Yadun)