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- Latin Name- Pleopeltis polypodioides, Soil Type- Moist, Hardy Zones 3-8
Resurrection Fern- Pleopeltis polypodioides
The resurrection fern gets its name because it can lose up to 75 percent of its water content and still come back to life. When it does not get enough water, it will look like a grayish brown clump of leaves, but once it gets moisture again, it is a beautiful green color. Researchers theorize it can live over 100 years with no moisture, and spring back to life once it receives moisture. Children are often fascinated by the process of watching the gray-brown clump spring back to life in just a few hours when they are spritzed with a water bottle. While researchers are not exactly sure how the resurrection plant works, they know the plant has more sugar alcohol in its system than most other plants, and that may help protect it from the stresses that cause most other plants to die. The resurrection fern is an air plant, so it must attach itself to another plant, which is how it collects its moisture. It has a definite preference for oak trees where its long, winding rhizomes hook themselves securely to the tree's bark without harming it. It prefers the shade of trees, but it will grow on the sunny side of trees when necessary. Evergreen colored fronds can be seen growing up to 12 inches in length can grow off the main stem in an alternating pattern. The fronds are oblong with rounded edges. They can easily grow up to eight feet long as long as they have a source to keep providing them moisture. There are over 1,200 different varieties of resurrection plants found around the world, and researchers believe there will be even more discovered in some of the world's forests that have not been explored well yet. This plant can also be grown as a houseplant as long as its roots are kept constantly wet.