Home Vegetation Jabal Fayfa Deserts Taif Huraimala Northern Region Asir




          Taif region is situated in the central foothills of the western mountains at an altitude of an approximately 2000 m above sea level (210 16` N - 400 25` E).   It is an important place for the people due to its scenic views and fertile valleys which support the growth of a number of fruits and vegetables.

           Agriculture has been the prime economic income of Taif region. Even during pre-islamic times, farmers followed the advanced as well as traditional irrigation methods by diverting downward flowing rainwater to agriculture terraces or bringing rain water drawn from dams to irrigate parched wadis.

           Historically the tribes of Taif grew wheat and barley and fruits such as lime, apricot, orange, olive, fig, peaches, pomegranate, watermelons, grapes, almonds and dates. However, on the other hand, the agriculture development has to pay a heavy price for the natural vegetation of Taif region. Over the years, vast areas of virgin lands have turned into agriculture lands, which resulted in the disappearance of many wild species. 



            Mean monthly temperature ranges from 13.70 C in January to 30.90 C in July. The mean maximum temperature is 37.80 C in July and the mean minimum is 6.30 C. The mean monthly rainfall ranges from 6.7 mm in June to 44.9 mm in May. Rainfall is characterized by irregularity and variability both space and time. In other words, Taif region enjoys an annual rainfall of about 208 mm.  

Vegetation and topography of Taif region.

            The rugged topographical features of the surveyed area contain a variety of land forms, ranging from high plateau, escarpments, rocky ridges, valleys, etc. Each of these habitats has its particular soil textures, water resources, microclimate as well as elevation above sea level. The top vegetation layer of the mountains is dominated by sclerophyllous woodland, comprising trees such as Juniperus procera, Juniperus phoenicea, Olea europaea, Acacia origena, etc. Vegetation in this part is somewhat luxurious with considerable cover and floristically this part has resemblances with Afromontane vegetation. Among the characteristic taxa of Juniperus woodland are: Barbeya oleoides, Buddleja polystachya, Euryops arabicus, Rumex nervosus and Dodonaea angustifolia.

 Variation in altitudes affects the distribution of plant communites. A few communities are restricted to high elevations while others evenly distributed along the entire escarpments. Dodonaea angustifolia is usually found at altitude of about 1700 m, Olea europaea at 1800 m and Juniperus procera is found in areas with an altitude about 2000 m. However, overlapping of these three species can be found in many places with varying degree of species density and associations.

Following list shows the important trees shrubs and perennial herbs of the study area

Trees.   Juniperus procera, Acacia gerrardii, Acacia origena, Barbeya oleoides, Rhus retinorrhoea, Buddleja polystachya, Ficus palmata, Ziziphus spina-christi, Celtis Africana, Maytenus parviflora.

Shrub Dodonaea angustifolia, rumex nervosus, Withania somnifera, Opuntia ficus-indica,   Solanum incanum, Otostegia fruticosa, Ochradenus baccatus, Clutia myricoides, Sageretia thea etc.

Perennial herbs  Euryops arabicus, Lavandula dentata, Pulicaria undulata, Pluchea dioscoridis, Teucrium polium, Themeda triandra, Ruta chalepensis, Periploca brevicoronata, Echinops erinaceus, etc.



List of species recorded from the study area 

 Acacia etbaica

Acacia gerrardii

Acacia origena

Anagyris foetida

Argemone mexicana

Asparagus aphyllus  var. stipularis

Asphodelus tenuifolius

Astragalus  vogelii

Astragalus sp.

Azadirechta indica

Barbeya oleoides

Blepharis ciliaris

Buddleja polystachya

Caralluma plicatiloba

Caylusea hexagyna

Cleome ramosissima

Clutia myricoides

Convolvulus asyrensis

Conyza stricta

Dodonaea angustifolia

Echinops erinaceus

Ephedra alata

Euclea schimperi

Euphorbia schimperiana

Euryops arabicus

Fagonia bruguieri

Ficus palmata

Gomphocarpus sinaicus

Gypsophila capillaris

Hypoestes forsskalii

Jasminum grandiflorus

Juniperus phoenicea

Juniperus procera


Klenia odora

Lavandula dentata

Lavandula pubescens

Marrubium vulgare

Maytenus heterophylla

Maytenus parviflora

Nepeta deflersiana

Ochradenus baccatus

Olea europaea

Onopordon heteracanthum

Opuntia ficus-indica

Otostegia fruticosa

Periploca aphylla

Periploca brevicoronata

Phragmanthera austroarabica

Pluchea dioscoridis

Polygala abyssinica

Psiadia punctulata

Pulicaria undulata

Rhus retinorrhoea

Rumex nervosus

Ruta chalepensis

Sageretia thea

Solanum incanum

Solanum nigrum

Teucrium polium

Themeda triandra

Verbascum sinaiticum

Viscum schimperi

Withania somnifera

Ziziphus spina-christi