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
Not Yet Rated

Friday - June 03, 2005

From: Long Beach, CA
Region: California
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Smarty Plants on Resurrection Plant
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hello, I have a plant that my grandmother gave to me. When she gave me the plant it was a dried bundle; but, as soon as she put in water, the plant opened up and came to life again. Then, we let it dry and bundle up again. That was about 8 years ago, and now I put the plant back in water to let it open up. I was wondering if you can help me identify the plant. It has copper-color roots that are very thin and there are no real look-like leaves. It almost looks like coral. It has stems that are light brown when dried, but a dark green when wet and alive again. It is very delicate overall, especially when dried. The stems are thin as well and somewhat dark when wet. It looks like if the stems were the leaves as well. I wonder what it is?

ANSWER:

This sounds like Resurrection Plant (Selaginella lepidophylla). It belongs to a primitive group of plants in the Family Selaginellaceae (Spike-mosses). You can read an excellent description on the Union County College in New Jersey web site where it was featured as "Plant of the Week". It is native to New Mexico and Texas. Its ability to dry up when no moisture is available and revive and grow in the presence of moisture helps it survive in the desert Southwest.
 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification from Prairie Village KS
August 25, 2012 - My friend has identified this plant as a Horseweed. It is 3 1/2 to 4 feet tall. Has a thick, fuzzy single stem. Linear leaves, about 3/4 inch across and 3 or 4 inches long with one or two notches on e...
view the full question and answer

Help identify a plant.
February 21, 2008 - Could you help me to identify this plant?
view the full question and answer

Identity of mint impersonator in California
May 20, 2012 - Is there such a thing as a mint "impersonator"? There are random 'sprigs' of purple-stemmed, bright green leaf plants in my front yard. We just moved in to the house and I don't want to assume ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Plant Identification
April 25, 2005 - We bought our house last October and there were beautiful pink flowers blooming along our sidewalk. They bloomed until past Thanksgiving. They resembled Azaleas but we don't know what they were. Th...
view the full question and answer

Identity of invasive vine in The Woodlands, Texas
December 02, 2013 - What is the invasive vine covering trees in The Woodlands, Texas?
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