Habitats so dry that very few plants can grow there are described as xeric. There are several xeric areas in the U.S., including the xeric shrublands near the Grand Canyon.
Ecologists sometimes use the terms xeric and arid interchangeably to mean "very dry." You might read about the xeric conditions in the Sahara Desert region, or xeric habitats that allow only very short, scrubby bushes to flourish. Plants and animals can also be described as xeric when they're able to survive in a dry environment. The word comes from a Greek root, xeros, "dry."