Plants that live in the desert are more likely to have a thick cuticle. Desert plants have thick cuticles because the cuticle will help the desert plants retain water.
Deserts are biomes that are dry and arid. Deserts receive less than 25 centimeters of precipitation annually. Yet, due to the hot desert temperatures during the day, evaporation of the water that is present in a desert can occur rapidly. This lack of water is often the factor that determines which vegetation and organisms live in deserts. Many inhabitants of deserts require some sort of adaptation that will allow them to withstand or avoid water loss or stress.
The cuticle is an example of such an adaptation. The cuticle of a plant is a protective outer covering over the epidermis of the plant’s leaves. It is composed of lipids and hydrocarbon polymers that are embedded with waxes. Such substances are hydrophobic and aid in the resistance of water loss.