The resurrection plant
Once most organisms die their life-cycle is complete, but for this plant its just a step in the process. Commonly found in the desert, it can be blown for miles and miles on the sand for up to several decades as a lifeless bunch of brown branches.
The rare instance when rain appears is when things get interesting. When the resurrection plant lands in say a puddle of rain water, it’s branches start to open up exposing it’s seeds. As the rain drops hit these seeds it scatters them around the puddle of water. Within days the seedlings appear and grow very quickly. Bugs pollinate the small white flowers of the young plants.
However, once the rain goes away, the plant dies in the hot desert sun only to start the cycle over again as a tumble weed bouncing around until the next storm.
Each of these stages of the plant are called phenological events. Where the root word pheno means “to appear”.
Watch what plants can tell us about climate change →