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Every year, the Rose of Jericho appears on the market - just in time for Christmas. Curiously, the most widespread and especially in this country in the markets available Rose of Jericho is actually the loggerhead with the botanical name Selaginella lepidophylla.
The (real) Rose of Jericho
The real rose of Jericho (Anastatica hierochuntica) is not quite as filigree and has a short stem
The real rose of Jericho, as well as the fake rose also called resurrection plant, is truly worshiped as a mystical and immortal plant. Its botanical name is Anastatica hierochuntica and is native to Asia Minor or North Africa. From a botanical point of view, it is one of the cruciferous vegetables (Brassicaceae). The Rose of Jericho is already mentioned in the Bible and is considered a lucky charm with healing powers. She came to Europe with the first Crusaders and is currently a popular and unusual gift at Christmas time, as well as an exotic decoration.
The Loggerhead Rose of Jericho
The entire mystification has also been inseparably transferred to the Loggerhead Rose of Jericho. Especially since the two are also very similar visually. As for the concept of the resurrection plant and its supposed immortality, this is not even as far-fetched as it sounds. As a poikilohydre or Wechselfeuchte plant, the moss fern plant rolls together in dryness in a ball and thus survives several months completely without water or substrate. This is an impressive adaptation to the inhospitable habitat of the Loggerhead Rose of Jericho - as it occurs, of course, only in the desert areas of the US, as well as in Mexico and El Salvador and is used to extreme drought. After a downpour, she then unfolds within a few days and awakens to new life. Now also shows the actual Habitus: The Loggerhead Rose of Jericho spreads plate-shaped and has dark green shoots. The stature height is only about 8 centimeters, the growth width can reach 15 centimeters and more.
The Loggerhead Rose of Jericho is offered in dried condition on markets and in commerce
Natural wonder resurrection plant
Most of the time, however, the loggerhead rose of Jericho appears in the form of a dry, brownish-gray brushwood. In this condition, it is also sold in the trade and is almost forever preserved. The leaves and stems are pulled together like a ball. However, if you put them in water, the shag-leaved moss fern unfolds and opens like a flower. All stems unroll to the last link. Although she is always living up to her (false) reputation as a resurrection plant - the process can be repeated as often as she wishes - in reality the bastard Rose of Jericho only actually returns to life once. Only once does she turn green again and is able to do photosynthesis. By contrast, the process of washing and drying, which can be repeated as often as desired, is pure physics, since the plant finally dies after the second dry phase.