Archive for the ‘Resurrection Plant’ Tag

Not Everything In The Sonoran Desert Has Thorns and Spins   Leave a comment

Star Fern & Ressurection Plant-72Star Ferns and Ressurection Plants On the Bluff Trail Above Sabino Creek — Image by kenne

Most people think of the desert as being a hot, dry and barren place which is totally inhospitable to the likes of ferns, mosses, and leafy plants.  Nonetheless, all the above-mentioned species thrive here in the Sonoran Desert. There are many varieties of ferns growing in the desert climate. The desert ferns are true xerophytes (a plant that has adaptations to survive in an environment with little liquid water, dry loving).  These ferns have evolved several strategies to thrive in our warm, dry climate here in the southwest.  They can shrivel and go dormant for many months, they begin life in rock fractures and other moist sheltered areas that provide a microclimate for early growth. Other characteristics of desert ferns are reduced surface area (small leaflets), leathery leaflets, thickened leaf margins, waxy, hairy or fuzzy coatings, and scales on stems. Does this sound like some of the water-saving adaptations of other desert plants?  You bet! We’ve heard about these adaptations for many other desert plants such as creosote, mesquite, ocotillo, Brittle Bush, so why not the ferns too? (Debbie Bird, Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalist)

The plants at the top of the above image are Selaginella lepidophylla is a species of desert plant in the spikemoss family. Known as a “resurrection plant”, it is renowned for its ability to survive almost complete desiccation. During dry weather in its native habitat, its stems curl into a tight ball, uncurling only when exposed to moisture.

— kenne

Hiking In La Milagrosa And Agua Caliente Canyons   Leave a comment

Miagosa Loop Panorama (1 of 1)-3_blogLa Milagrosa Trail (December 5, 20014) — Panorama Image by kenne

Somewhere between
the La Milagrosa 
and Agua Caliente Canyons,
we take turns guiding hikers
through beautiful desert vistas 
screaming at our eyes.

The desert trail
and canyon walls
graced with deeper colors
after yesterday’s rains
and the Christmas green 
of the resurrection plants.

The Sonoran desert, 
a piñata filled with
surprises and gifts — 
I’m not blind to the worth
of nature’s gifts
invoking my soul.

— kenne

Desert Morning After The Rain   Leave a comment

Milagrosa Loop - resurrection plants (1 of 1) blogArizona Spikemoss (Selaginella arizonica)

resurrection plants
turning from gray to bright green
following the rain

growing in the shade
along cracks of desert slopes
a real survivor

a long-lived moss plant
Arizona spikemoss is
natures mats on rocks

— kenne


It’s A Nipple World Out There   Leave a comment

Nipple (Pincushion) Cactus — Images by kenne 

We all have nipples

Some have beautiful blossoms

Her’s in reddish hues.

— kenne


Capturing The Moment — Cliff Dwelling Resurrection Plants   5 comments

Romero PoolsResurrection Plants Defining the Cliff. — Image by kenne

The Resurrection Plant is in the Selaginella genus of plants. Because of recent rains, the plant quickly turns green after having seemed to have died from a lack of water — seemingly returning from the dead therefore justifies its common name.

The plant’s ability to grow in the cracks of a rock-cliff, providing a mountain terrace look.


Capturing The Moment — The Sonoran Desert’s Resurrection Plant Comes To Life   2 comments

Starpass Trail 2012

Starpass Trail 2012

Resurrection Plant, Arizona Spike-Moss (Selaginella Arizonica) — Images by kenne

The desert floor has a lot of low-growing plants that are brown during the dry season, but quickly turned green after rain, appearing to rise from the dead. After our recent rains, the desert had a lot more green on this mornings hike in the Tucson Mountains.



A Resurrection Is Taking Place In The Desert   Leave a comment

A Cliff Formation Near The Sabino Canyon Riparian Area — Image by kenne

It’s difficult to see in this image, but if you look carefully at some the rocks that appear more green than others, the green is from Arizona Spikemoss (Resurrection Plant) growing after some recent rains in the canyon. For most of us, it’s hard to consider moss growing in environments such as the dry-hot desert. However, it only takes a little moisture to turn this dried-up gray plant to turn green and start growing. It is called Resurrection Plant because of its habit of reviving after seeming to be dead. In the last week, evidence of this plant can be found all over the canyon. This small fern can be found in shaded areas where they clump together or form dense mats, which helps reduce their exposure to hot temperatures. 


(I share this information, which I learned while on a nature walk with naturalists Anne Green, Ned Harris and Fred Heath.)

Pincushing Cactus with Fruit, Surrounded By Arizona Spikemoss (Resurrection Plants) — Image by kenne

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