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

Interested in a mini food forest
February 04, 2013 - I am interested in starting a mini "food forest" in a twelve foot by twelve foot patch of earth next to my house. I'd like to put a focus on making sure that the bulk of the plants I introduce are ...
view the full question and answer

How to Control Pests on Plants for Sale
May 15, 2014 - I am renting a closed spot at a flea market, and am having trouble with several infestations at once, and I am not sure how to control them. I am currently having trouble with aphids, whiteflies, and ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for underneath oak tree
October 10, 2012 - I have a North facing wall of my house that gets half sunlight half shade depending on the season. I would like to layout some native South Texas plants and complete fill in area to prevent the live o...
view the full question and answer

Source for silver ponyfoot from Temple TX
March 19, 2013 - Where can I purchase dichondra argentea -- I live in Bell Co. but am willing to come to Austin if need be. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Container plants for cool weather in Cypress TX
October 02, 2011 - I am a novice gardener and I am looking for some ideas on potted plants for the fall/winter. They would be covered by a roof, but still susceptible to the elements. What can be planted now that will...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center