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Image depicting Selaginella lepidophylla - Unique Plants!

Selaginella lepidophylla – Unique Plants!


Recommended for Foundational Grades

Selaginella lepidophylla is a very interesting plant. It is a desert plant found in the Chihuahuan Desert across the US and Mexico.

It has the ability to survive in extremely dry conditions. Let us tell you about the fascinating tale of its survival.

Key facts about Selaginella lepidophylla!

  • During a drought or a long dry period, the plant rolls inwards and becomes a ball.
  • The leaves turn brown and along with the stem, the plant curls up into a tight ball.
  • It can survive this way, without water for many years.
  • But once the dryness ends, the plant fully recovers.
  • It opens up, the leaves turn green again and even begin photosynthesis (the process by which plants convert the energy from the sun into food and water for the plant).
  • This is why the Selaginella lepidophylla is also known as the ‘resurrection plant’.
  • Resurrection means coming back to life after death.
  • The Selaginella lepidophylla seems like a dead plant in dry conditions.
  • But once it finds moisture it uncurls and looks and behaves like a living plant.
  • Sometimes, the Selaginella lepidophylla can be blown away by the wind when it is in the shape of a ball.
  • The plant can also survive again in the new location once it finds moisture or water.

Check out Selaginella lepidophylla coming back to life in the following Youtube clip. The video is shared by Youtube user “Ian Dennis Miller”.

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