Characteristics of Gharqad Tree (Nitraria retusa) in the Wild

Nitraria retusa
Gharqad or Nitraria retusa is a tree species that grows in the Palestinian territories and Israel. But according to the Wikipedia page, this tree comes from the deserts of the northern African region, where it grows in primary succession on barren dunes.

The gharqad tree is one of several desert trees that are tolerant of dry soil with high salt content. This is evident because the people around the trees often process gharqad as a source of salt.

In Islamic history, it is explained that a gharqad tree is a place where Jews will hide from the pursuit of Muslims.

As Allah has given them a little pleasure and pleasure, the time (destruction) will turn to them and the calamity will turn on them. They are not gathered in Palestine, but as proof of the truth of the words of the Prophet Sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam, that the Muslims will kill them all, insha Allah. To the extent that rocks and trees will speak and tell a Muslim.

Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam said:

“Doomsday does not happen until the Muslims fight the Jews. The Muslims will kill them all so that the Jews hide behind rocks and trees. So, the stones and trees say, ‘O Muslims, O servants of Allah, these are the Jews behind me, kill him!’ Except gharqad, because he belongs to the tree of the Jews.” (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim)

This hadith is believed, that the war of Islam against the Jews will occur because of the preaching of the Prophet about this event. Also, the gathering of them (Jews) in Palestine is nothing but strong evidence of the truth of this news.


Characteristics of Gharqad Leaf

Nitraria retusa Leaf
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The leaves are fleshy, bluish-gray in color, wedge or crescent-shaped, and 10-15 mm in size.

From a distance, the gharqad tree appears to have white leaves, but when approached, the leaves are grayish-green.


Characteristics of Gharqad Flower

Nitraria retusa Flower
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The flowers are fragrant, greenish-white, and have short stalks.


Characteristics of Gharqad Fruit

Nitraria retusa Fruit
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The fruit is red, small berry-shaped, and edible. While the seeds are triangular measuring 5-10 mm.


Characteristics of Gharqad Tree

Nitraria retusa Tree
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Gharqad grows as a small shrub tree in the Nitrariaceae family. This controversial tree in this Muslim country grows to a maximum height of 3 meters but is usually found to be less than 1 meter. Young twigs are hairy, and bald on old twigs.

Gharqad trees usually grow on the edge of marshes in semi-arid desert areas and can aid in the stabilization of loose soils.


In the Moghra Oasis (a remote, uninhabited area in the northeastern part of the Qattara Depression in Egypt’s the Western Desert), the gharqad trees play an important role in the stabilization of the dunes. It is the dominant plant in several zones, forming the hummocks known as Nabkhas.

Gharqad wood is used as firewood and its fruit to make traditional liquor.

The fruit and leaves are also a source of food for wildlife such as camels, sheep, and cabbage.


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