"One day the earth is so dry, withered plants break up into pieces under the foot. After 2 or 3 weeks there is a burst of color. All the world's arid lands, not only here in South Africa but in Australia and Arizona meet rain producing dazzling displays of color. The sudden abundance of flowers and foliage attract many herbivores. Also for them the pressures of life in the desert briefly relaxes. It may seem a paradox that some of the harshest environments produce such unique spectacles, but the desert floor is not wet long after the rains, and in that brief period, plants should produce leaves and seeds, so the pollination is urgently needed. Plants with bright flowers are more likely to attract an insect. It is a competitive advertising at its most intense level. Therefore, a few days of rain a year is sufficient to allow plants to survive in some of the driest places on earth"

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Clip from the BBC documentary: "The Secret Life of Plants"