The Amazing Resurrection Fern
On a recent trip my wife and I took to the states of Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi, we discovered and observed many wonderful jewels of creation. In this post I would like to introduce you to the one that made the largest impression on me.
Have You Met Pleopeltis polypioides?:
This amazing plant that God created reminds us of the historical event of the rising of Jesus Christ from the Dead celebrated world over at Easter time. These emerald beauties demonstrates God’s design in wonderful ways. The scientific name of this plant is Pleopeltis polypioides. The are also known as Miracle Fern and Little Gray Polypod.
Look at this plant. It looks dead and all dried up. This is the Resurrection Fern in times of drought or the dry seasons of the year.
The above plants show what happens in a dry spell.
Watch the Transformation:
What a wonderful change comes to pass as soon as the rain appears.
Interesting Facts About the Resurrection Fern:
It can be found all over the Southeastern part of the United States as well as in some parts of South America and Africa.
It loses up about 75% of its water content during a typical dry period but scientists believe it can extend this ability to around 97% in extreme droughts.
Scientists believe it can remain in a dormant state for as long as 100 years.
It usually grows above the ground on the trunks and branches of trees. It can also grow on other surfaces where it can get a grip with its rhizomes (root system).
It shrivels and curls up when it dries out with the underside of the leaves outward. In this fashion they can instantly absorb water when it rains or gathers on the tree it grows on.
There are over 1,200 varieties of Resurrection plants found all over the world.
These ferns are “Epiphytes“….(plants that grow above the ground, supported on other plants).
Resurrection Ferns are not parasitic. They do not acquire their food from the host plants upon which they grow. They do, however, benefit from the nutrients that flow down the trunks and off the leaves of the host plant when the rain and dew gather there.
Don’t try to find seeds for these plants. They reproduce by spores which they release into the air as the spore cases under the leaves burst open. They can also be propagated by dividing the rhizomes.
These plants are often found on live oak trees as well as cypresses. Though these are their favorites, they can also grow on rocky surfaces and many different kinds of plants. They just need a good place to anchor their rhizomes and find water.
This large oak tree above a restaurant was covered with Resurrection Fern.
Some Other Things I Learned About These Plants.
If you take the time to look on-line you will discover that these plants are often purchased by herpetologists (scientists that raise and study reptiles and amphibians). They use these plants when creating a moist environment in their terrariums used to house their reptiles and amphibians. If you have ever been to a zoo and gone into the reptile and amphibian displays you may have seen these plants growing along side mosses and other water loving plants which add beauty to the display as well as provide a great way to keep the terrariums moist for the creatures that live in them.
They Went Where?!!!
Did you know that these plants have traveled to outer space? They were actually taken into space aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery back in 1997 to see how the plants would respond to zero gravity.
Good Friends with the Mosses:
One study found a strong relationship between the Resurrection Fern and Mosses. It seems that they share the water that the mosses hold like a sponge. It seems like they may share the same space and probably help each other grasp the surfaces of the trees they grow on by providing a lattice work of rhizomes for the mosses to anchor themselves.
They Have Medicinal Uses:
These little plants have been used medically for thousands of years. The ancient Aztecs used them as a diuretic, against renal stones, cystitis and liver infections. They also show anti-inflammatory properties. They have been used to resist the growth of bacteria, to treat headaches, gum diseases and dizziness. They even hold possibilities of being used in the treatment of cancer. Who knows what other benefits these plants may possess for those who continue to study them?
Have You Considered the Benefits of the Resurrection?
Though this plant seems to rise from the dead, it in fact doesn’t completely die out. In the case of Jesus Christ, however, He really died and then rose again to life. He is the only one to have power over life and death. He also died for a purpose. He died so that you could experience spiritual and eternal life. His death paid the price for man’s sins and provided an opportunity for us to know and experience the true God. By believing in the person and work of Jesus Christ and trusting Him for your future, you also can have a resurrection experience. You can be brought to life spiritually as well as have the assurance of eternal life when your days on earth are over. A great way to find out more about the Resurrection and its value to you would be to read chapter 15 of the Book of the Bible, Corinthians. If you have never thought much about the reality of this event, it was witnessed by over 500 people. It has been an important event celebrated for more than 2000 years. Those who believe in the Resurrection have seen amazing transformations in their own lives as well as have experienced hope for the future and energy for daily living.