From the beautiful desert rose! As a child our family went on holiday annually to Namibia, then South West Africa, either to Swakopmund or Lüderitz. What an exciting experience to find desert roses, buried beneath the sand. These desert roses are protected today by Nature Conservation.
©Desert Rose Travel
Desert roses are formed when gypsum or baryte crystallises with sand and salt in an arid region. The crystals form ‘rose’ petals which are extremely delicate as the salt evaporates in a shallow salt basin. Sizes vary from 1cm to 43cm, larger roses being very rare.
Baryte is used as a weighting agent for drilling fluids in oil and gas exploration to suppress high formation pressures and prevent blowouts. It is also used in the medical field as a Barium Meal before a CAT scan, as a filler in paint and plastics, as a chemical to produce LED glass for TV and computer screens. Barium hydroxide produced from barite was used in sugar refining, also as white pigment for textiles, paper and paint. It is non toxic owing to its insolubility.
Technical info from Wikipedia