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

Plants for the north side of the house in Norborne MO
September 30, 2009 - What perennials, plants, flowers, are best suited for north side of house?
view the full question and answer

Gaura Plants Dying In PA
July 16, 2014 - I had six gaura plants. They were beautiful last year. Now I have one that is doing well and the others are dying slowly one at a time. I don't understand this. They are on a slight slope and have ...
view the full question and answer

How to deal with wild verbena.
April 07, 2010 - Hello. I have a great 9 acres of black dirt in Dripping Springs! However now that I have cleared cedar, and then w/the great rains came...I am being taken over by wild verbena. (purple)..looks like wi...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping large area in Webster KY
February 10, 2012 - We just bought a house that we fell in love with. The land around it . . . well it has GREAT potential but is seriously lacking at the moment. Trying to get the farm up and running leaves very litt...
view the full question and answer

Flowering native plants for Evanston IL
July 12, 2009 - What flowering, native plants would be suitable for a backyard garden in Evanston Illinois?
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center