Saturday, December 17, 2011

My Cabinet of Wonder: Wonder of Plants

Since it is winter and I am recovering from a sprained knee I thought I would hobble around the house and photograph some things that are in my own Cabinet of Wonder.

Several years ago, while traveling through the southwest, I purchased a curiosity called a Resurrection Plant. Seleginella lepidophylla is the scientific name for this interesting primitive plant in the Lycopod group (ground pines and club mosses). Unlike the lycopodiums I find in moist regions of WV this one comes from the desert, Mexico to be exact, and has adapted to the dry conditions. When the soil dries the Resurrection plant contracts into a tight ball and enters a state of dormancy that can last for years.

Then when the rains return it rehydrates and opens up to a flat rosette that is soft and pliable. Even when it is dead the plant will unfold if given water. The photo above and below show when I first placed it in a bowl of water and then a few minutes later.

This one first inspired a sense of magic and I wasn't even curious how it worked.  I now know what makes it open but the magic is what I love the most. Cool, uh?

1 comment:

Ellen Rathbone said...

Serendipity! I was just doing some clubmoss ID this week and came across the name of the lycopodium in this post! Small world! Not too often that something so remote enters one's life twice in one week.