Archetype 1 – Sponge
This plant has a unique sponge-like tissue, called velamen, increasing its capacity to store water, making it particularly adaptable to dry environments. Velamen can be found in the roots of some plants and is capable of absorbing atmospheric moisture. The lack of leaves and a waxy coating on stems helps reduce water loss. Sponge has an extracellular matrix (a collection of molecules secreted by cells that provides structural and biochemical support to the surrounding cells) that protects it during drought conditions. Modified spines create a white woolly structure that shades the flowers from direct sunlight.