Abal (Calligonum comosum)
The abal is one of the few shrubby plants that exist in the shady deserts. This plant grows to about 1.2 meters (4 feet), and its branches look like wisps from a broom. The stiff, green branches produce an abundance of flowers in March and April.
Where to Find: This plant is found in desert scrub and waste in any climatic zone. It inhabits much of the North African desert. It may also be found on the desert sands of the Middle East and as far eastward as the Rajputana desert of western India.
Edible Parts: This plant’s general appearance would not indicate its usefulness to you, but while this plant is flowering in the spring, its fresh flowers can be eaten. It is common in the areas where it is found. An analysis of the abal’s food value has shown it to be high in sugar and nitrogenous components.