Xerophytes are plants that are adapted to very dry conditions with a lot of sun exposure, like cacti and succulents. Xeric environments, or desert-like environments, are some of the most extreme locations in which plants can be found.
Xerophytic species are often easy to recognize by their looks. They tend to be small, with either succulent leaves or stems, a waxy surface, and pale colors. These are all adaptations to store water, minimize water loss, and reflect sun light.
Another problem that xerophytes have to avoid is being eaten by herbivores. In their extreme desert-like environment, a little plant full of water makes a great meal. Xerophytes have a few different strategies to avoid being eaten, such as covering themselves in spines, or camouflaging themselves against their sandy substrate.
Although they look alike and share many adaptations, xerophytes belong to many different families. Their adaptations are an example of convergent evolution: organisms that arrive at a similar solution to a similar problem using different paths.