See the haunting Rose of Jericho unfold in perfect form


The Rose of Jericho (in this case Latin name Selaginella lepidophylla) is a type of desert moss found in Israel and Jordan which has the ability to quite literally ‘resurrect’ itself after extreme bouts dehydration, sometimes for years. Christians therefore call it the Resurrection flower.



When you expose the Rose of Jericho to water, the result is breathtaking. After a few short hours it uncurls from a tight ball into a green flower. See this timelapse video below by Sean Steininger. And some gifs from the film.

I’ve seen the Rose of Jericho in dried form for sale at Christian pilgrim sites in Israel. No doubt if you look hard enough on your travels you’ll find it in the wild – just like the old miswak toothbrush spotted in the Dead Sea.

The Rose of Jericho as traditional medicine

The Rose of Jericho is also known as the Flower of Maryam and is used by midwives all over the Middle East. According to Baraka Birth, “traditional midwives have used the Flower of Maryam with their laboring mothers for hundreds of years.

“A quick glance at its names suggests its religious significance: it is referred to as the “leaf of Maryam” (mother of Jesus), the “hand of Fatima” (daughter of the Prophet ), as well as simply “daughter of the Prophet,” and “resurrection plant.”

“It is referenced in the Bible in II Kings 19:34-36 and in Psalms 83:13, “make them like tumbleweed,” here referring to the dried twiggy balls of Anastatica that disperse in the wind, scattering its seeds.

While you should consult a herbalist or your doc before trying this at home, people in the Middle East use the Rose of Jericho as a traditional medicine to treat various health conditions, including diabetes, asthma, the common cold, menstrual cramps, and arthritis pain, as well as to facilitate labor. I used black cohosh, via my midwife, but this could be an alternative. Again, always check a trusted source first.

People usually prepare it as a tea using its seeds or dried leaves and flowers.

How to plant your rose of Jericho

To “plant” your Rose of Jericho, fill dish with pebbles or gravel and add water until the pebbles are just submerged. Place your Rose of Jericho on top with its roots touching the water. While the plant can survive with almost no water if necessary, it can rot if overwatered. Over-watering plants, or over-loving them as I like to say, is the reason why most houseplants die.

But you came here to see The Rose of Jericho unfold. More below.

If you are addicted – watch the full life cycle of the Rose of Sharon come to life in this time lapse video:

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2 thoughts on “See the haunting Rose of Jericho unfold in perfect form”

  1. K. Tielboerger says:


    this article is a chaotic mixture of complete misinformation and very few true things interspersed. You have made the same mistake as the commercial sellers and innocent buyers of the Rose of Jericho.

    The rose of Jericho, should grow near Jericho, i.e. in Palestine, Israel, Jordan, and nearby areas with similar desert climates. So far so good. However, the Selaginella, which you mention in the article and show on the picture and in the first of the two movies, does NOT grow in in the Old World at all. It is a fern-like plant (not a moss) that grows in Mexico. It is collected there and sold elsewhere in the world under the WRONG name rose of Jericho. It is quite a remarkable plant that can really be ‘resurrected’ by placing it into water, i.e. it is very long-lived and can endure years if not decades without water. When wettened, it literally springs to life, becomes green and starts making photosynthesis.

    The real rose of Jericho (real because it does grown near Jericho and it indeed is mentioned in the Bible) is indeed a plant called Anastatica, the full name is (note the reference to Jericho in the name) Anastatica hierochuntica. It is an annual plant from the cabbage family and neither a moss nor a fern but a real vascular plant. Annual means, it dies after setting seed. It produces a wooden structure during its life which curls up after it dies. When putting into water, the plant opens up, but it is dead, i.e. the opening up is a purely physical process. The seeds that have been protected in the wooden ball during the dry season now become exposed and can be dispersed. This strategy ensures that seeds are dispersed only when there is plenty of water around to enable germinating seedlings to grow.

    Interestingly, the real rose of Jericho is shown in your second movie – please note that this is an entirely different plant than the Selaginella fern that is shown in the rest of your article.

    Best regards,


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