Selaginella lepidophylla

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Selaginella lepidophylla
Selaginella lepidophylla gruen.jpeg
Conservation status

Apparently Secure (NatureServe)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Lycopodiophyta
Class: Isoetopsida
Order: Selaginellales
Family: Selaginellaceae
Genus: Selaginella
Species: S. lepidophylla
Binomial name
Selaginella lepidophylla
(Hook. & Grev.) Spring

Lycopodium lepidophyllum
Hooker and Greville

Selaginella lepidophylla (syn. Lycopodium lepidophyllum) is a species of desert plant in the spikemoss family (Selaginellaceae). S. lepidophylla is noted for its ability to survive almost complete desiccation; during dry weather in its native habitat, its stems curl into a tight ball and uncurl when exposed to moisture.[1] It is native to the Chihuahuan Desert.

Common names for this plant include false rose of Jericho, rose of Jericho, resurrection plant, resurrection moss, dinosaur plant, siempre viva, stone flower,[2] and doradilla.

Selaginella lepidophylla is easily confused with Anastatica:[citation needed] both species are resurrection plants and form tumbleweeds,[citation needed] and they share the common name "rose of Jericho".


Selaginella lepidophylla reviving, duration 3 hours

This plant is sold as a novelty item as a bare root in its dry state. It can be revived with only a little water. After wetting, the plant turns green, hence the name "resurrection plant".[3] This use was common in the United States as early as when the Spanish Friars entered the New World, including the area that was to become the United States. They used the plant to demonstrate to the Natives the concept of being reborn.

This plant has been used as a herbal medicine. An infusion (tea) is made by steeping a tablespoon of dried material in hot water and the tea used as an antimicrobial in cases of colds and sore throat. Common names for this in Spanish include doradilla and flor de piedra.[4]


  1. ^ Lebkuecher, J. and W. Eckmeier (June 1993). "Physiological Benefits of Stem Curling for Resurrection Plants in the Field". Ecology 74 (4): 1073–1080. doi:10.2307/1940477. 
  2. ^ "ITIS Standard Report Page: Selaginella lepidophylla". Retrieved 2012-02-09. 
  3. ^ William Francis Ganong (1921). A Textbook of Botany for Colleges. MacMillan Co. p. 604. ISBN 1-153-17574-6.  page 505-506
  4. ^ Curtin, L.S.M. and M. Moore. 1997. Healing Herbs of the Upper Rio Grande. Western Edge Press, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
  • Schenck, George. 1997. Moss Gardening. Portland: Timber Press

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