The Rose of Jericho, a Desert Plant Capable of Resurrection

The Rose of Jericho, also known as the resurrection plant has the ability to survive desiccation.

Completely different from the traditional rose we know; this plant has a very particular property, it can “come back to life”.

When speaking of roses, the beautiful flower of various colors comes to mind.

But not all Roses are red…..Violets are blue, Sugar is sweet,
And so are you.

In the ancient deserts of Arabia and Asia, as well as near the Red Sea, there is a very curious plant called the Rose of Jericho or the Resurrection planet.

The small gray plant tends to curl its branches and seedpods inward during the dry season and lack of water.

It forms a ball that only opens when moistened.

The plant has been found to be able to survive for years and years in that form.

For long periods of time this peculiar plant, which lives in arid regions, grows and reproduces until the environment becomes unfavorable.

At that moment the flowers and the dry leaves fall, the roots untie and the dry branches bend, forming a “ball” that allows the wind to transport it across the terrain.

According to botanists, the Roses of Jericho can be transported for kilometers, living in dry and unfavorable environments, without any water, for a long time, until it finds a humid place. If still rooted when moistened, it spreads into a green plant as much as 30 cm (1 foot) wide and bears minute white flowers.

When this happens, the plant sinks its roots into the soil and opens up, flourishing again.

The drying and greening process of the planet is completely reversible and can be repeated various times.

The ability of the plant to do this is thanks to the presence of trehalose, a disaccharide sugar involved in various mechanisms of cryptobiosis, a state that consists of the suspension of metabolic processes, in which some living beings enter when environmental conditions become extreme and unfavorable. Trehalose is used by other planets, bacteria, and fungi as a source of energy.

The trehalose molecule protects the plant by stabilizing proteins and preserving its cell membranes.

In ancient times, the plant was used to predict the climate.

In dry weather the plant remains completely closed; in wet weather, it opens slowly; if it threatens to rain, it opens in a very showy way and with more or less speed according to the proximity of discharge of the clouds.

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