Palmer's grass

Distichlis palmeri (Palmer's grass), or nipa grass, is a saltgrass of the family Poaceae, grows in the Sonoran desert of Western Mexico, and produces a grain with some similarities to wheat. Originally a major food source of the Cocopah tribe in the western United States, it was thought to be extinct. A search for remaining plants was successful, and was followed by a breeding program that increased yield from 5kg/Ha to 2000kg/Ha. The grain is currently also being bred for commercial use in Australia. It is drought resistant and can absorb seawater. As a halophyte, the salt it absorbs is excreted from specialised cells (which are not stomata) on the leaf surface.
The United Nations Environment Report (2006) says of the plant: "It is a strong candidate for a major global food crop and could become this desert's greatest gift to the world." Some varieties of D. Palmeri have been the subjects of US patents.