7.15.15 How Dry I am
I've got so much to share with you, so many new discoveries and ideas and resources on my mind, that I've decided to try to post shorter pieces more frequently. Back in the early days of this blog, I used to post almost every day! And some people really liked that. We'll see how this works out.
This unusual plant is something I picked up from an herbalist in a very cool health food store in Athens. He described it as a "Jerusalem rose," but that's actually a different plant, more commonly known as Rose of Jericho (Anastatica), native to the Middle East and North Africa. This one is Selaginella lepidophylla, another type of "resurrection plant," so-called because it can survive almost total desiccation.
This plant belongs to the spikemoss family and is actually native to the Chihuahan desert in Mexico. During dry weather, its stems curl into a tight ball, reviving only when exposed to moisture.
It traveled home from Greece with me as a little dry, dusty ball. After submerging this root end in just an inch or so of water, it began immediately to unfurl and change color.
Within a matter of hours, it had turned completely green! Spanish missionaries in the New World used what they called "doradilla" to demonstrate to potential native converts the concept of being reborn.
This plant has also been used as herbal medicine. An infusion is made by steeping a tablespoon in hot water; its antimicrobial properties help resolve colds and sore throat.
The secret life of plants is so beautiful!