En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Wednesday - February 04, 2009

From: Centennial, CO
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Herbs/Forbs
Title: Resurrection plant not reviving.
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I have what might be a resurrection plant but it never turns green. When it is watered it opens up and turns from tan to dark brown. Is it just a different variety of resurrection plant or something else altogether?

ANSWER:

There are two plants, Selaginella lepidophylla (flower of stone) and Anastatica hierochuntica (rose of Jerico) that are commonly referred to as resurrection plant and another, Pleopeltis polypodioides ssp. polypodioides (resurrection fern), that is sometimes called resurrection plant.  Anastatica hierochuntica is a Sahara Desert native and is probably not the plant species you're inquiring about. Pleopeltis polypodioides is native to the southeastern US and is more commoly known as resurrection fern than resurrection plant.  Therefore we think your plant is probably Selaginella lepidophylla, a native of the Chihuahuan desert.

If we are right in our deductive reasoning, then we're afraid that nothing can be done to help you.  Your plant is dead and nothing short of divine intervention is going to resurrect it.  Selaginella lepidophylla grows in desert area of Texas, New Mexico and Mexico along rocky ledges.  It is collected in great numbers (probably much over-collected!) by ripping the plants from their roots.  The plant dries into a ball of foliage that unfurls upon adding water.  Unscrupulous marketers sell these plants to unsuspecting customers who have no idea that the plants can never be revived to a living, growing state.

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Where to find Horseherb seed
August 02, 2015 - I would like to purchase some Horseherb seeds. Can you tell me where I can do that? Either locally or on line. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Seed for Kosteletzkya virginica, salt marsh mallow
January 13, 2009 - I have a nursery in North Carolina. We are looking for a reliable seed source for kosteletzkya virginica salt marsh mallow. We are www.campbellfamilynursery.com
view the full question and answer

Is dichondra repens native from Hillsboro, TX
November 28, 2012 - What about diachondra repens? Is it native? Thank you,
view the full question and answer

Flowers to bloom in next 4 months from Aransas Pass, TX
July 24, 2013 - Looking for seeds to put down that will bloom over the next 4 months or so in the southern gulf coast area
view the full question and answer

Giant Thistle-Like Plant from Elgin, TX
June 01, 2014 - I have a giant thistle like plant in my field we have been unable to identify. It looks like a milk thistle but it is short..only about a foot tall..stocky...and the flowers are giant..about 6 to 8 i...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center