Desert Rose

Desert rose is a curious formation made up of groups of lenticular gypsum crystals mixed with reddish quartz sand. It forms in environments characterized by arid climate, a gypsum layer placed under a sandy cover, and by a shallow water table. The formation process involves as a first step the solubilization of gypsum in water which, through capillarity, can rise to the surface. The high desert temperatures heat up the sandy surface causing the precipitation of gypsum from the water according to the typical petal-like arrangement. The yellowish color is due to the presence of sand grains inside the crystal structure. Desert roses represent a magnificent decorative element of locations as ornaments, especially for the various and sometimes imposing elegant specimens.