Rose Of Jericho: Selaginella lepidophylla: The Resurrection Plant
The Rose of Jericho is a species of desert moss that can ‘resurrect’ itself after bouts of extreme dehydration in which it goes into dormancy lasting for months or even years.
After just a few hours of exposure to water the plant starts to unfurl its tightly curled, brown leaves and turn green into a flower-like shape.
It is said this plant pre-dates the dinosaurs and its species has survived for around 290 million years.
Native to dry deserts of Mexico and Southern Texas, it rolls around tightly coiled like a tumbleweed until it lands in an indentation in the sand or rock. It waits for rain and when the rain comes and fills that indentation, it unfolds and unfurls..."resurrecting" back to life - all to be repeated again.
Caring for your new Rose of Jericho:
To open up your Rose of Jericho, you’ll want to place your plant in a shallow dish of water- only filled up to the roots. The idea here is that this plant is not aquatic-it still wants air & to be mostly dry! Your plant should start to unfurl within the next few hours and within 24 hours, be fully unfurled. It will drink the water quite fast so if your plant starts to fold back inward, it’s often a sign that it’s not getting any more water and needing more.
In your home, you'll want to let the Rose of Jericho go back to its dormancy stage from time-to-time, only keeping it "open" for a couple days at a time and then letting it come back to dormancy for at least a few weeks to a month.
This plant teaches us about the importance of dormancy- that nothing can be in full bloom all the time. And it teaches us about resiliency, as it comes back again and again.