Selaginella lepidophylla or Resurrection Plant is a desert plant, which belongs to the Spikemoss family, Selaginellaceae. Across the desert of Mexico and the United States, you will find this plant. However, it is considered that the desert of North Africa is the native place of this plant. It is also called the False Rose of Jericho. The creeping stems of this plant grow horizontally, and the leaves are like scale.
What Is A Resurrection Plant?
Any poikilohydric plants, which are able to survive extreme dehydration, is called a resurrection plant. These plants can survive without water for several months and even for years.
Example: the Rose of Jericho that is native to the North African deserts, is an example of the resurrection plant. The scientific name of this plant is Anastatica hierochuntica.
Some Interesting Facts About The Resurrection Plant
Here are some interesting facts about the resurrection plant that will surely amaze you.
These plants have scaly stems that are arranged in the form of a rosette. A few stems that the resurrection plant produces always grow close to the ground. The entire plant covers a diameter of less than only 1 foot. Just like other plants, this plant also uses its root in order to extract nutrients and water from the ground.
Resurrection plant is a primitive plant that falls between the category of ferns and mosses. You can not see any leaves on the resurrection plant. All you will find are small scaly extensions of stems that look like juniper.
After a rainfall, the resurrection plant quickly absorbs the water and enters the phase of rapid growth. As this plant is unable to accumulate water in the root and stems, once the soil dries out, it also dries shortly. The dry plant curls up into a tight ball with a very small amount of water that is stored in the center.
Though the curled ball looks like it is dead, actually, it is only dormant. During the whole period of dormancy, the plant minimizes the metabolic activities and is able to last a few years or till the time of the next rain.
Due to its reviving ability, this plant is called a resurrection plant. This plant is able to rehydrate. Once it is exposed to the moisture, after a few hours, it unfolds its stem and reactivates its metabolism. After it absorbs the water, the stem starts swelling and unfolds itself. Even if the stems do not have any live protoplast within them, this will indeed happen.
“Siempre Viva,” which is another name for the resurrection plant. The earlier mentioned phrase means “everlasting.”
Resurrection plants do not produce flowers, fruits, and seeds. This plant reproduces sexually. Strobili, which is a club-like structure and produced via spores. 400 million years ago, this plant appeared on the planet. Most of the ancient lycopods were giant plants.
But as a result of climate change, all of them became extinct. Small lycopods like resurrection plants have managed to survive without any morphological changes till the modern days.
Another name of the resurrection plant is the “Dinosaur plant” because it has lived side by side with dinosaurs. Tea made from the resurrection plant can treat sore throat and common cold due to its antimicrobial properties. The resurrection plant is the long-lived eternal plant.
Does the Resurrection Plant Need Soil?
When you will buy a resurrection plant online or from your nearest nursery on the resurrection plant for sale, you will receive a brown ball of dried moss. This brown ball of moss does have roots, but the roots are not attached to anything. So, in order to grow, this miracle plant does not need soil.
Similar to a hydroponic system, when there is no water or moisture for a really long time, the plant will curl into a ball and turn brown with a diameter of around 6 to 10 inches, which plant generally has a height range of 15 to 35 centimeters. This plant is very convenient in terms of taking care of and growing.
Also Read:- How to Plant Grass Seed on Hard Dirt?
Can a Resurrection Plant Die?
From the earlier discussion, it may be clear that this plant is really hard to kill. You can simply put the plant in the dark corner of a room without water. But once you bring it out and leave it in water, it will get relieved once again. There is one way to kill this plant. That is overwatering. You can leave this plant in water for a few days, and it will start rotting, and eventually, it will die.
How to Grow the Resurrection Plant?
In order to grow and for resurrection plant care, this plant all you need are
- A broad and shallow container that should not have any drainage hole.
- Another wide container that should have drainage holes.
- For spreading at the button, gravel or pebbles.
- Distilled water at room temperature.
- A bright but shady place.
- And lastly, a dried resurrection plant.
- First, fill the wide and shallow container that has no drainage system with water. Do not fill it wholly, put two-third water.
- Place pebbles or gravels up to the waterline. Now put the dried resurrection plant on the pebbles. For a completely dry and brown plant, it will take around 3 to 4 hours to turn green.
- Now take the wide container that has drainage holes and spread the gravels or pebbles up to the level of water. Mix peat moss. Hummus, and sand, spread it on the pebbles. Now place the resurrect plant on the top.
- Do not place it in direct sunlight. Instead, place it in a shady place that has a temperature of higher than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Once you notice the plant is getting brown, continue to water it.
This plant is super convenient for plant lovers who can not afford much time to take care of plants. Due to its relative properties, this plant can come back to life just after receiving water. That is why this brown dries ball of moss is so popular among plant lovers.
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