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Native plants make a welcome comeback to Abu Dhabi’s streets
By Nick Leech
Hussam Ali first embarked on what he now describes as his “love affair” with the UAE’s native plants five years ago.
“To grow indigenous plants you need more concentration,” the manager of the Barari Nursery in Al Foah, Al Ain, explains. “You need more than concentration. You need love. If you don’t love these plants it is very difficult to learn how to grow them or even how to collect the seeds.”
Plants such as the leathery-leaved Rhazya stricta, the salt-tolerant Haloxylon salicornicum and the goat-resistant Tephrosia apollinea may now be his passion, but in the early days Ali was driven by something more than mere botanical curiosity. “There was a buzz in the market,” the nurseryman explains, “and various government agencies were saying that the future lay in native species.”
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