The Rose of Jericho has something mystical and fascinating about it that depends largely on the uniqueness of this plant and the legend attached to it. But the Rose of Jericho is not actually a rose, but a plant that possesses characteristice that are unique in nature. It is also commonly referred to as the “resurrection plant” or the “dinosaur plant.” This plant is native to the Middle East and it seems to bring with it millennia of history and mysteries of these regions.
The name “Rose of Jericho” comes from its ability to appear dead and then seemingly resurrect itself when it is exposed to water. When the plant dries out, it curls up into a ball and appears lifeless. However, when placed in water, it slowly unfurls and appears to come back to life. This remarkable ability to survive extreme desiccation (drying out) has allowed it to adapt to the arid desert conditions where water can be scarce.
What’s so special about the Rose of Jericho?
The Rose of Jericho has been used in various cultures for symbolic and decorative purposes, and it is sometimes sold as a novelty item. People may place it in a bowl of water to watch it open up, then allow it to dry out and curl back into a ball before rehydrating it again. This cycle can be repeated multiple times. Given its high symbolic value representing rebirth, the plant is given on special occasions such as graduations, baptisms, weddings, and communions.
However, it’s essential to note that scientific evidence regarding its medicinal benefits is limited, and its use should be approached with caution.
If you look at it, you’ll note that the Rose of Jericho remains closed like a hedgehog when it has no water available and opens up again as soon as it is watered. Even the color changes from brown tones to intense green, which is also its original color.
Perhaps this is why the aura of positivity that surrounds this very special plant has remained intact to this day. In Europe, in fact, growing a Rose of Jericho at home means bringing happiness within the home. In short, the presence of this plant has always been linked to serenity, peace and resurrection and is a symbol of long life.
Among some peoples, even today, twigs and flowers of the Rose of Jericho are placed in bowls full of water on the occasion of Christmas or Easter, in memory of the martyrdom of Jesus Christ for Christians.
Symbolism associated with the Rose of Jericho
Here are some common symbolisms associated with this flower:
- Resurrection and Rebirth: The most obvious symbolism is that of resurrection and rebirth. The plant’s ability to “come back to life” when placed in water is seen as a symbol of renewal, regeneration, and second chances.
- Endurance and Survival: This plant’s ability to survive extreme conditions, such as drought and arid environments, symbolizes endurance, perseverance, and the capacity to weather life’s challenges.
- Healing and Transformation: In some cultures, the plant is believed to have healing properties and is used in traditional medicinal practices. As such, it symbolizes healing, transformation, and the potential for personal growth.
- Spiritual Awakening: The act of reviving this rose by placing it in water can be seen as a spiritual or metaphorical journey. It’s often used in rituals and ceremonies to represent a spiritual awakening or a new beginning.
- Family and Unity: In some traditions, the Rose of Jericho is placed at the center of the family table during the holiday season. It is seen as a symbol of family unity, coming together, and shared blessings.
- Prosperity and Abundance: The Rose of Jericho is sometimes associated with prosperity and abundance. Placing it in your home is believed to attract positive energy and financial well-being.
- Symbol of Christ: In Christian symbolism, the ability of the Rose of Jericho to seemingly “resurrect” itself has been associated with the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and it is sometimes used as a Christian decoration.
However, specific symbolism associated with this flower can vary among different cultures.
Rose of Jericho appearance and care
The Rose of Jericho is a plant native to the Middle East whose botanical name is Anastatica hierochuntica. It belongs to the Brassicaceae family and is often confused with Selaginella lepidophylla, which is very similar to the Rose of Jericho, but larger and has different botanical characteristics. For this reason, the latter is also know as “false Rose of Jericho”.
At first glance, the Rose of Jericho looks like a bulb. It is precisely the irrigation water, in relation to temperature and quantity, that determines the color of the plant. Learning to respect its natural cycles is therefore essential to grow it at its best.
Watering should wet all the roots well. but should not remain in contact with the bulb for more than 3 consecutive days. After this period has elapsed, the plant should dry completely and gradually you will see it hatch and change color. By the time the plant is fully opened, it demonstrates a formidable ability to absorb odors in its surroundings.
Subsequently the Rose of Jericho will dry completely until it takes on a very similar appearance to the one it had at the time of purchase. At this point you can decide to conserve it dehydrated or put it back in water. In the latter case wait at least 15 days.
That’s right, because being a desert plant, the Rose of Jericho is very well adapted to arid and torrid climates, so it can live without being watered for a very long time. It dies with the arrival of the drought season and flourishes again with the first rain.
By following its rhythm of cyclical openings and closings with the right water supply, you can keep your Rose of Jericho in all its beauty for a very long time, or even forever.
Rose of Jericho: how to make it bloom?
Having said that, know that to make your Jericho Rose bloom you will have to immerse it in a bowl or saucer with half an inch of warm water. The temperature outside should be at least 15 degrees Celsius, and the ideal habitat is fairly humid, bright and ventilated.
Near the driest season, the plant will begin to thin out and the branches will retreat to form a compact spherical mass. In this way, the Jericho Rose tightens around its seeds, protecting them inside.
In there, the seeds will remain dormant but will become fully viable and ready for reproduction again with each new flowering. Alternatively, plant propagation can also be done by separation of the bulbs.
Where to buy a Rose of Jericho
And how mush should it cost?If you want to buy a Jericho Rose turn to shops specializing in organic, herbal products and at dedicated markets. It can also often be found online but remember to always check the botanical name to make sure you are buying a real Rose of Jericho.
The price ranges from 5 dollars and up depending on the size of the plant.
Legends surrounding the Rose of Jericho
Legend has it that this Middle Eastern plant was imported to Europe by crusaders and pilgrims crossing the Holy Land.
Along this path, many superstitions are intertwined about this flower: one speaks of this plant’s ability to produce a miraculous water that quenched the thirst of travelers along their desert crossings.
However, it’s essential to understand that many legends and stories have surrounded the Rose of Jericho over the centuries, and the historical accuracy of such tales can be challenging to verify.
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