Rose of Sharon / Rose of Jericho
Anastatica Hierochuntica Plant
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True rose of Jericho. When placed entirely under water, the flower will start opening its brances and release its seed, which will start germinating within days. See image. Refresh water daily, and remove the germinating seeds and plant them. Approximate size of the rose is 5 to 7cm
The most commonly used name in English may be Rose of Jericho; other common names include Jericho rose, True rose of Jericho, Maryam's flower, Flower of St Mary, St Mary's flower, Mary's Flower and white mustard flower. This species is not to be confused with Selaginella lepidophylla, also known as the rose of Jericho, and false rose of Jericho.
Anastatica is found in arid areas in the Middle East and Sahara Desert, including parts of North Africa and regions of Iran, Egypt, Palestine, Israel, Iraq, Jordan and Pakistan.
After rainy season, the plant dries up, dropping leaves and curling branches into a tight ball, and "hibernates". Within the ball, the fruits remain attached and closed, protecting the seeds and preventing them from being dispersed prematurely. The seeds are very hardy and can remain dormant for years. Wetted again, the ball uncurls and the plant wakes up from its dormant state, which causes the capsular fruits to open (dehisce) to disperse the seeds. The process of curling and uncurling is completely reversabile and can be repeat3ed many times. The ability of the plant to do this is attributed to the presnece of trehalose, a disaccharide sugar involved in several mechanisms of cryptobiosis. Anstatica has been described as the most famous tumbleweed. Once dry, the ball is said to become detached and dispersed by wind.