Oman's plant biogeography is rich and diverse; on its small area of arid land area, there are more than 1,200 species of vascular plants representing over a hundred families; ninety-three of these are native. The vegetation of Oman stems from four large biogeographic areas: Somalia-Masai, Nubo-Sindian, and two Saharo-Sindian subzones. In addition, there are three local centers of plant diversity which are characterised by their high number of endemic species....
Many of Oman's plants have either historical, medicinal or economic importance. The most well known examples are frankincense (Boswellia sacra), the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) and the ghaf tree (Prosopis cineraria). Some of the crop plants are unique to Oman, such as local cultivar of banana (Musa acuminata) and several cultivars\landraces of breed wheat (Triticum sp.).
The use of local flora in traditional medicine is well documented and the compounds of frankincense resin have been found to have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-cancer activities. However little or no controlled research has been done on the chemical composition and biological activity of the components of the plants of Oman and a tremendous amount of additional research is required before any commercialization prospects for these substances can be considered.
Many of the local flora species are currently endangered due to human activity, overgrazing and soil salinization. OAPGRC works with its stakeholders on measures to ensure the sustainable reproduction, conservation and use of these species.
Scientific name: Boswellia sacra
Located: In the drier areas of Dhofar's foothills and lower slopes of wadis extending to the coast
Value: Luban has a long history of medicinal, religious and social uses. Given its medicinal properties it is used to treat headaches, rheumatism, eczema, inflammation of the mouth and lips, and chest diseases.
Flowering and bearing fruit: September - November