The national flower of Kuwait is Arfaj (Rhanterium epapposum ). Its scientific name is Rhanterium. It belongs to Asteraceae family. Actually the plant is commonly known as Rhanterium epapposum which is more popular and native to the deserts of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. But locally it is known as Arfaj or Al-Arfaj. In 1983 it became the Kuwait state flower.
It is confirmed from sources that Kuwait flowers or plant consists of a complicated network of branches scattered with small sharp leaves and bright yellow flowers about 1.5 cm wide. It is a very hairy flower nearly 80 cm height. It has small and narrow leaves and in late spring it will start flowering (April-May).
It is well known desert food plants for camels and sheep.
When cold temperature overcome the flowers of Kuwait produces leaves quickly after rainfall. In a few months, the branches and newly formed leaves become energetic and the brownish yellow flower becomes enormous, attracting insects and birds. It changes with seasons.
In summer, when the earth has dried out the leaves fall and the branches become naked and woody with living fibers. In times of stress, these changes may be important in increasing the chance of survival, water and reserve material stored in the stems to remain alive by allowing it to have few hidden outgrowth. With conditions improvement, the reserves are moved into buds providing new growth.
Arfaj fruit is abundant in numbers it forms in late spring and falls off the branches after maturity. Gather under the flower and remains sleepy until favorable conditions for germination prevail. Every flower contains about 6-8 seeds that are moved by wind or water.
Other native and famous flowers of Kuwait grown up are, , Lehiet Al-Tais (Koelpinia linearis), Oqhowan (Calendula aegyptiaca), Ziekh (Cistanche tubulosa), Gharqad (Nitraria retusa), Selmas (Artemisia scoparia), Afaina (Scrophularia deserti), Eshnan (Seidlitzia rosmarinus), Hurum (Zygophyllum coccineum) and Hanwa (Calendula perseca).
10 Facts about Arfaj Flower: you should know
- Arfaj is a native and most popular flower of Kuwait country.
- Al- Arfaj is revered for its practical purposes as it is for its beauty. For centuries, desert travelers have made camp adjacent to such covering plant area.
- The plants are dense enough to serve as a breakfront and provide protection from the wind and sand.
- It is an important food species for livestock, the conservation of the Arfaj is essential for the support of local communities and their livelihoods.
- It has unique survival property for flower ecosystem(a system formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their physical environment)
- It has been observed that in favorable environment. If cropping, eating is controlled, the Arfaj flower can quickly regenerate. Where it has been afforded protection from such pressures, populations have increased.
- As a result of protection from cropping and eating, the vegetation at the Sabriya Oil field in Kuwait quickly recovered from previous failure. While at an experimental area in eastern Saudi Arabia, 14 years of protection resulted in increases in plant cover and range.
- In early times this plant not only served as food source for the Rhim gazelle (or sand gazelle, is a slender-horned gazelle, mostly adapted to desert life) and domestic animals, but also was a source of fuel.
- Very important grazing plant, especially for camels. Young leaves used for food preparation as a flavor. In some places it used to be gathered for fuel when no other woody species were available.
- The flower plant have 18% FIBRE and 20% protein
Why is Arfaj the national flower of Kuwait ?
Since the early time, flowers have attracted us with their unique beauty and cool fragrances. But some of these exceptional ‘gifts of nature’ possess unbelievable characteristics that are unknown to many of us. Here are we will discuss some interesting facts about Kuwait flowers, both rare varieties and those we see regularly.
State Flowers are the special design or visual object representing a quality, type, expression, and culture etc. Emblems and symbols signify country. Particular national flowers have traditional or religious origins that go back hundreds or even thousands of years some are consulted by government bodies which may or may not have been officially accepted. Whereas others become familiar due to public interest.
Although large portion of Kuwait is a desert. Where the growth of plant is very difficult. But Kuwait nation flower Arfaj have unique qualities and can grow in such a dry land . It Prominent in the central and northeastern part of the desert.
This small aromatic shrub displays silvery branches and small green leaves in autumn and during spring. It has an abundance of golden yellow flowers. Now this Flower is a great source of water for camels during the dry duration of the desert, protection from wind and storm . Due to the strange facts of the plant Arfaj (Al-Arfaj) become the national flower of Kuwait .