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"Desert Roses" Tunisia Shopping Tip by traveldave

Tunisia Shopping: 59 reviews and 78 photos


I am not much of a shopper, and I rarely buy souvenirs when I travel. However, when I was in southern Tunisia, I could not resist buying desert roses. Also called sand roses, desert roses are formed when ground water rich in salt evaporates, leaving crystalized gypsum which resembles the petals of a rose. Although pure gypsum is white, desert roses are brown due to particles of desert sand trapped in the crystal.

Desert roses can be found in a natural state in the Sahara Desert, usually in low areas between sand dunes. However, they are available as souvenirs all over the country. It is also common to see them used as decorations in hotel lobbies and other buildings, and even as sculptures in public spaces.

Theme: Other

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 14, 2006
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