One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A flower-like aggregate of crystals of a mineral, occurring in arid areas.
- ‘Gypsum is sometimes called "desert rose" if it takes a certain shape.’
- ‘It has been meeting once a month, with their most recent achievement being the shade structure in the shape of a desert rose put up at the Skate Park the week before last.’
- ‘In sabkhas gypsum surrounded by sediment grains forms ‘desert roses’.’
- ‘The most common to be formed is gypsum which grows within the sediment in an interconnected mass of bladed crystals known as desert rose.’
- ‘The Desert Rose "grows" by replacing carbonate sediment in soil overlying gypsum deposits.’
2A succulent plant with pink tubular flowers and a woody stem containing toxic milky sap, native to East Africa and Arabia.
- ‘He has sent flowers such as Gerbera bouquets, sunflowers, desert roses, and plants for different occasions.’
- ‘The desert rose, the ocean flower, and the forest queen were all that they were known as to the others of the galaxy.’
- ‘The emperor wanted a desert rose for his garden.’
- ‘Then, using canning tongs to handle the prickly pear cactus pads, attach them to the base with wood florist's picks, leaving an opening at the top for the fan palms and desert rose.’
3A dense shrub with pinkish-lilac flowers and black spotted leaves and fruit, native to arid regions of Australia.
- ‘The Floral Emblem in both its common and botanical names, Sturt's Desert Rose (Gossypium sturtianum) honours its discoverer, the inland explorer Captain Charles Sturt (1795-1868).’
- ‘Since the granting of self-government to the Northern Territory in 1978, Sturt's Desert Rose has been incorporated into various insignia and so become symbolic of the region.’
- ‘When, usually in summer, there is an unexpected shower of rain the desert is covered with a carpet of flowers, including Sturt's desert rose, the heraldic flower of the Northern Territory.’
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