Plants are intelligent living beings that have the ability to develop different qualities to adapt to the environment. Climate and temperatures can cause species to mutate over successive generations to withstand setbacks.
Within the plant kingdom, there are sclerophyllous plants, Which are hard-leaved plants and a short distance between the leaf nodes. The characteristics of these plants are not for their own sake but rather it is linked to this adaptive power that many species have adopted.
The term "sclerophyllous" comes from the Greek because "sklērós" means hard. The name refers to the sclerophyllous plant morphology to adapt to long periods of drought and heat they have developed hard rather than soft leaves and short internodes, that is, a short distance between the leaf nodes. These leaves are very robust, leathery and durable in order to withstand long periods of drought. In general, they occur together in certain areas and therefore make up forests. The tough leaves are covered with a resin called sclera.
To discover the characteristics of sclerophyllous plants, it is enough to observe because they are woody plants and have hard leaves of a generous size that belong to arboreal or shrub species. Therefore, among the specimens of most popular sclerophyllous plants appear the myrtle, the Espino steppe, the maquis, the Espinal, various thorny bushes, the boldo, the quillay, the liter, the colliguay, the romerillo and other lasting shrubs and herbs. The typical sclerophyllous species of the Iberian Peninsula are the holm oak, carob, kermes oak or cork oak.
In addition to these qualities, sclerophyllous plants share other traits: most species they are perennial while they live many, many years. Moreover, it involves slow growing plants that do not lose their leaves and look always green. This group of plants has aerial and underground structures that are modified according to the water needs of the plant, since it is this variation so that it allows to achieve the necessary compensation for the balance of the plant.
Sclerophyllous plants in the world
Although we can find sclerophyllous plants in all parts of the world, dry and arid areas are the places where they are most frequently found. It is common to see them in the African continent, in Australia, in some areas of South America and in the western part of the United States. However, it is also possible to find them in Mediterranean climates in some parts of Europe and South America.