Rose of Jericho

The “Rose of Jericho” is a mystical name for a fascinating houseplant. This extensive guide will help you to learn all about the Rose of Jericho. 

This spellbinding plant is known by many names, including the “resurrection plant” and “dinosaur plant”. 

Why does it have so many unique names? What are the qualities of the Rose of Jericho? Continue reading to find out more!

The two Roses of Jericho

The moniker “Rose of Jericho” refers to two slightly different plants. As you can imagine, this can be somewhat confusing.

Let’s dive into these two variations so that you can tell the difference between them.

Selaginella lepidophylla

The first plant known as Rose of Jericho has the scientific name selaginella lepidophylla. This desert plant is known for its ability to survive in lots of different harsh conditions. 

Having adapted to this environment, this plant can be found in places like the Sahara Desert. Another name for this plant is the “false rose of Jericho”.

When exposed to dry weather conditions, the stems of the selaginella lepidophylla will curl up.

Anastatica heirochuntica

Another plant that has been dubbed the “Rose of Jericho” is anastatica heirochuntica.

Belonging to the Brassicaceae family, this is an annual plant. Specifically, it is a herb and form of tumbleweed.

The anastatica heirochuntica is also known as a resurrection plant. But the truth is that it does not truly belong to this category. This is because the deceased plant tissues don’t revive. 

Despite this, anastatica heirochuntica has been dubbed the “true rose of Jericho”. 

What are the differences between these plants?

Now that you know a little more about these two plants, you may be wondering how you can differentiate between them. 

The first version of the plant, known as selaginella lepidophylla, is a true resurrection plant.

It’s a type of poikilohydric plant, which means that it maintains water. As a result, it can attain homeostasis.

This allows the plant to survive even in dry and arid conditions, such as a sandy desert.

Meanwhile, the second variation of this plant is not a resurrection plant. The reason for this is that the tissues do not die and then turn green, meaning that this plant never truly resurrects itself.

Despite this, many people refer to anastatica heirochuntica as such.

So long as selaginella lepidophylla has access to sufficient water, it can resurrect itself. 

Another key difference between these varieties is their rarity. Selaginella lepidophylla tends to be much more common than the “true rose of Jericho”.

It can be found across deserts and other dry landscapes. 

Plus, the two plants have different appearances. When it has access to moisture, the false rose of Jericho will turn a green color.

Meanwhile, the true rose of Jericho will, for the most part, remain brown. Consequently, many people prefer the aesthetic of the selaginella lepidophylla.

Perhaps the best way of differentiating between these plants is to use the names “true rose of Jericho” and “fale rose of Jericho”.

Rose of Jericho: A description

In its dormant state, the Rose of Jericho looks like a big brown ball. It looks incredibly similar to a tumbleweed.

When in this state, the plant will be incredibly dry. It can remain in this tight ball form for years.

Only once this plant has access to moisture will it open up. Once it receives water, the Rose of Jericho will turn a green hue.

Its seeds will begin to germinate, which can happen rapidly if the Rose of Jericho receives plenty of water.

Because this plant is light, the wind allows it to travel great distances. This allows the seeds to spread.

The many names of Rose of Jericho

As stated, the Rose of Jericho is known by lots of different names. This may seem a little confusing, but it doesn’t really matter what name you use.

Yet, these names often highlight the significance of this plant. 

Selaginella lepidophylla

Here are just some of the names to which selaginella lepidophylla is referred:

  • Rose of Jericho
  • The false rose of Jericho
  • Stone flower
  • Resurrection plant
  • Dinosaur plant
  • Flower of stone

The meaning of some of these names is clear. For instance, it’s known as the resurrection plant thanks to its aforementioned ability to be revived.

Meanwhile, “Rose of Jericho” is a reference to the biblical city of “Jericho.”

This city is incredibly old, which could be the main reason for this biblical reference. Not to mention, the city has been metaphorically resurrected time and time again.

According to the Bible, Jericho endured numerous important events, such as the Battle of Jericho.

But other names are a little less obvious. For instance, you may be wondering why the Rose of Jericho is also dubbed the “Dinosaur plant”.

After all, it seemingly has nothing to do with these prehistoric creatures. Allegedly, this plant has been around for millions of years, which may explain this nickname.

Anastatica hierochuntica

Meanwhile, anastatica hierochuntica has also earned plenty of different nicknames. Here are just some of the names that are used to describe this plant:

  • Rose of Jericho
  • The true rose of Jericho
  • St. Mary’s flower
  • White mustard flower
  • Maryam’s flower

Most of these names make sense. But you may be wondering why the flower has been associated with St. Mary.

Interestingly, many flowers and other plants are linked to this saint. St. Mary the Virgin is the mother of Jesus, making her an important biblical figure.

The rose of jericho: an extensive guide

Rose of Jericho: Its symbolic meaning

Due to its ability to resurrect itself, it’s understandable that the Rose of Jericho has garnered symbolic significance. It’s particularly meaningful as a religious symbol. 

As a resurrection plant, the Rose of Jericho has become a powerful symbol of resurrection.

In the Christian tradition, this plant may be used as decoration. This is particularly popular around Easter and Christmas.

The Rose of Jericho could be used to represent the death and resurrection of Jesus, which occurred over the Easter Period.

Thus, it is a rather apt symbol. Given that the name of this plant refers to a Biblical city, it’s no wonder that the plant is significant in Christianity. 

Another important symbolic meaning of this plant is luck. In Voodoo religions, such as Cuban Vodú, the Rose of Jericho is believed to inspire good fortune.

As a result, it may be worn as a symbol of luck. Allegedly, it will free the body from negative energy. 

How to take care of Rose of Jericho?

After finding out all about this phenomenal plant, you may be interested in growing your own Rose of Jericho.

The good news is that this plant is easy to grow and maintain. Therefore, even if you don’t have green fingers, you should be able to care for them. 

The reason for this is that even if the plant dies, it can easily be resurrected. Simply by adding moisture, you can receive this deceased plant.

It should be quite simple to find the false rose of Jericho. Because of how easy they are to grow, these plants are widely available.

To help ensure that your Rose of Jericho is well-maintained, here are our top tips:


You won’t need to put the plant in a deep bowl. It doesn’t require much water, so a shallow bowl will suffice. 

Soil is not necessary for this plant, so there’s no point in adding it. If desired, you can add some pebbles to the base of your plant.

Though this won’t be necessary, this can add to the aesthetic of the plant. If you add pebbles, ensure that the water reaches above this level.


Ensure that the roots of the plant get enough water. If it begins to curl into a ball, this is an indication that it needs to be watered. 

Tap water will be sufficient to hydrate this plant. But if you want to use high-quality water, it’s advised that you utilize distilled water.

Give your plant a break from the water approximately once a week. This may sound a little weird, but it’s essential that your Rose of Jericho has some time away from water. If the plant is constantly submerged in water, it will die. 

After all, the Rose of Jericho is used to the dry conditions of the desert. Taking the plant out of the water will help to dry it out.


The good news is that pruning isn’t essential when growing a Rose of Jericho. This is one less plant to worry about!

You can still trim any dead ends if desired. Yet, these ends can be saved by giving the plant more water.

Room temperature

Originating from deserts, the Rose of Jericho is used to extreme temperatures. Yet, it will also be fine when kept at room temperature.

It’s best to be consistent with the temperature. You should also ensure that your plant receives indirect sunlight.

Ideally, you should keep your plant away from the window and any vents.

Final thoughts

The Rose of Jericho is a truly fascinating plant that will engross plant lovers.

Though it may be confusing that there are two different types of this plant, hopefully, this ultimate guide will make you understand them a little better. 

Linked to life and resurrection, you should now know tons about the mesmerizing Rose of Jericho!


  1. https://www.rhs.org.uk/plants/75254/selaginella-lepidophylla/details 
  2. https://www.britannica.com/plant/rose-of-Jericho 
  3. https://www.rhs.org.uk/plants/156219/anastatica-hierochuntica/details 
  4. https://www.farmergracy.co.uk/blogs/farmer-gracys-blog/the-rose-of-jericho-resurrection-plant-steeped-in-legend 
  5. https://books.google.co.uk/books?redir_esc=y&id=UcLYLpwdcm8C&q=jericho#v=snippet&q=jericho&f=false 
  6. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/rose-of-jericho 
  7. https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-grow-and-care-for-resurrection-plants-5076015 

FAQs about the Jericho Rose

How long does it take the Jericho Rose to turn green?

The Jericho Rose, also known as the resurrection plant, is a type of fern that is native to the desert regions of Africa. It can survive in extremely dry conditions by losing all of its moisture and turning brown, but when it’s exposed to water, it can “resurrect” and turn green again. The time it takes for the Jericho rose to turn green after being rehydrated can vary depending on several factors, such as the amount of water it receives, the humidity, and the temperature.
On average, it can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours for the Jericho Rose to turn green after being rehydrated. However, in some cases, it may take up to 24 hours for the leaves to fully plump up and turn green again.
It’s important to note that this plant can die if over-watered, so it’s best to keep the soil slightly damp and not waterlogged.

Is the Jericho Rose sensitive?

The Jericho Rose, also known as the resurrection plant, is quite a hardy and resilient species. It can survive in extremely dry conditions, by losing all of its moisture and turning brown, but when it’s exposed to water, it can “resurrect” and turn green again. However, like any plant, it does have certain requirements and preferences that need to be met in order to thrive.
It is sensitive to over watering, so it’s important to keep the soil slightly damp and not waterlogged. It prefers a warm, dry and sunny environment with temperatures between 60-90 °F (15-32 °C) and bright indirect light. It also prefers a well-draining soil.
In addition to that, the Jericho Rose is sensitive to cold temperatures and can be damaged if exposed to frost. If you live in an area with cold winters, it’s best to keep it indoors as a houseplant.
Overall, as long as you provide it with the right conditions, the Jericho Rose can be a low maintenance, hardy and interesting plant to have.


Mary Jane Duford
Mary Jane Duford

Mary Jane Duford is a quintessential Canadian gardener. An engineer by trade, she tends to an ever-expanding collection of plants. In her world, laughter blooms as freely as her flowers, and every plant is raised with a dash of Canadian grit.

Mary Jane is a certified Master Gardener and also holds a Permaculture Design Certificate. She's also a proud mom of three, teaching her little sprouts the crucial difference between a garden friend and foe.

When she's not playing in the dirt, Mary Jane revels in her love for Taylor Swift, Gilmore Girls, ice hockey, and the surprisingly soothing sounds of bluegrass covers of classic hip-hop songs. She invites you to join her garden party, a place where you can share in the joy of growing and where every day is a new opportunity to find the perfect spot for yet another plant.

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