Habitats and Ecologies

On this page are defined words pertaining to habitats and their descriptions.


An inselberg (literally "Island Mountain" in German) is a rocky prominence made of hard stone. It results from the erosion of softer rock around it, leaving the hard erosion-resistant minerals as a rocky spire in the middle of a lower landscape.

Campo Rupestre

Campo rupestre is a habitat type consisting of small isolated grasslands and rocky outcrops (quoting from Wikipedia).  Typically at elevations above 3000 feet [900 meters], these ecological areas usually have shallow, nutrient-poor soil.

Pictures and much more information are available in the Wikipedia article.


Even though this word is pronounced "zero fight" (in English), it does not mean "dead wimp".  The two roots are xeros, Greek for "dry", and phytos, Greek for "plant".  It refers to a drought-tolerant plant.

In regions where water shortage is a present or impending reality, growing xerophytes is a good adjustment.  Xerophytes include not only obvious succulents such as the cactus family and the iceplants (Aizoaceae), but also drought-adapted herbaceous plants of western North America, such as penstemons.