A Forest Guild for the Makkah/Jeddah Region

A Forest Guild for the Makkah/Jeddah Region

A climate analogue is a compendium of plants from all over the globe that adhere to similar climatic qualities and global positions.  For Jeddah, similar locations were found in Mexico, Namibia, Mauritania, and India.  Thus the following plants are either known to grow in the region, or are likely to grow there, based on similarities in  latitute, elevation, soil profile, precipitation, and other factors.  There may be other useful plants that would fit in a niche within a food forest or a managed grazeland which I have missed.  This does not include plants I would put in a perennial vegetable garden at the moment–in other words these do not include all the zone 1 plants I would use, which would make for a different, more intense, and less drought-tolerant guild.  Some plants show up under more than one category.

One of the series I plan to write for the blog is a plants overview–pick one of the species I’m growing and go into detail on it.   When I get that started, these will be the first plants I cover, though I may add to or subtract from the guild as experience dictates!


  • Chloris gayana Kunth
  • Distichlis spicata
  • Pennisetum divisum
  • lasiurus sindicus
  • stipagrostis drarii
  • Smilo Grass oryzopsis miliacea
  • Harding grass phalaris tuberosa
  • Canary Grass phalaris arundinacea
  • Hairy Beard Grass andropogon hirtus
  • Erhart’s Grass Erharta calycina
  • Tall Fescue festuca arundinacea
  • Broad Fescue Festuca elatior
  • Tall Wheat Grass Agropyrum elongatum

Fruit Trees 

  •  Mongongo:  Schinziophyton rautanenii
  • Date Palm Phoenix dactylifera
  • Olive Olea europaea
  • Pomegranate Punica granatum–Roman
  • Fig Ficus carica
  • Guava Psidium
  • Mulberry Morus
  • Citrus glauca
  • Citrus medica
  • Jujube Ziziphus ziziphus & spinacristi
  • Carob Ceratonia siliqua
  • Tamarind Tamarindus indica
  • Drumstick Tree Moringa oleifera & Moringa Peregrina
  • Mango Mangifera indica
  • Loquat Eriobotrya japonica
  • Pitaya  Hylocereus undatus
  • Columar Cacti Cereus peruvianus


  • bitter melon:  momordica charantia
  • Passion fruit:  passiflora edulis
  • Grape: Vitis vinifera
  • luffa gourd:  luffa aegyptica

Legume Trees 

(excellent for coppicing, pollarding, firewood, timber, forage, mulch, and nitrogen fixing.  I have marked those that are known to perform hydraulic redistribution as HR)

  • prosopis juliflora (HR)
  • Prosopis Cineraria (HR)
  • Leucaena leucocephala
  • Sesbania Sesban
  • Parkensonia aculeata
  • Albizia Lebek
  • Casuarina spp (Note as of 2014–all but 3 of the initial 30 casuarinas we planted have died)
  • Acacia seyal
  • Acacia Senegal
  • Acacia Tortilis (HR)

Clumping Plants

  • Ginger Zingiber officinale
  • Turmeric Curcuma longa
  • Cardamom Elettaria Cardamomum Maton
  • hibiscus spp

Ground Covers

  • Portulaca
  • Coastal Pigface Carpobrotus virescens
  • Baby sun rose Aptenia cordifolia
  • Bay Biscayne creeping-oxeye Sphagneticola trilobata
  • Lippia  Phyla canescen


  • Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis
  • Sage Salvia
  • Thyme Thymus vulgaris
  • Sweet Marjoram Origanum majorana
  • Oregano Origanum vulgare
  • Felty Germander Teucrium polium
  • Jamaica:  hibiscus sabdarrifa
  • Tagart Bush:  Maerua crassifolia 


  • Horseradish tree Moringa peregrina
  • Sanamaki (senna):  cassia senna L.  (perennial herbaceous in sandy soil)
  • Henna lawsonia intermis  (perennial fragrant shrub)
  • Miswak salvadora persica (tree)
  • Neem Azadirachta indica (tree)

Cash Crops (trees): 

  • Mongongo–staple nut tree/oil tree
  • Frankincense:  boswellia sacra, boswellia seratta
  • Myrrh:  commiphora myhrra, balsamodendron myrrha
  • Gum Arabic (?):  acacia seyal, acacia senegal
  • Moringa:  oil, compost tea, seeds


  1. I really appreciate your blog and especially this plant list that you have assimilated. My family and I are newly arrived to KAUST and were curious what we might plant in our backyard. Besides driving around our neighborhood to see what others have growing, you have provided a nice list to work from. Thank you.

    • Thanks Peter, Welcome to the blog!

  2. Just found this site today, interesting! I will start practice permaculture in the small Canary island La Gomera so this is a very good source for me.

    • Hi Anna I hope it is of use to you and would love to hear how it goes.

  3. Keep up the good work!

  4. This is fantastic information. My parents have a farm near Colesburg in the Northern Cape. Very dry, arid climate.


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