7.15.15 How Dry I am

Rose 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

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. 

Rose1 790 xxx
closed for business

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.

Rose2 790 xxx
bottoms up

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. 

Rose3 790 xxx

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! 



Intriguing! “The Secret Life of Plants” revealing its secrets.
Celina on July 15, 2015 at 10:20 am —
I recently read someone found one of these in a basement in a house sale and felt it was easily 50 years old. When they added water it still came to life.
Chris Gordon on July 15, 2015 at 10:24 am —
So amazing and interesting! I love your posts, they are like little bitty encyclopaedias of knowledge and information! Not to mention deliciousness.
Shelly on July 15, 2015 at 12:22 pm —
Lisa on July 15, 2015 at 1:49 pm —
Amazing!!! Nature's endless wonders!
Julie Gross on July 15, 2015 at 4:15 pm —
wow!!! the plant kingdom.... is really something with no doubt Plants are the highest form of life. next time... come over to Spain :)
caroline on July 16, 2015 at 1:01 pm —
Thank you for this post--I saw some doradilla (Selaginella Lepidophylla) in Herbs of Mexico in East LA today and snapped it up to perform the same miracle at home!
Sylvia on July 19, 2015 at 11:09 pm —
Very interesting. Very fractal-y.
Robin on July 20, 2015 at 1:36 pm —