Selaginella lepidophylla is a rosette-forming lycophyte of conservation concern native to southern New Mexico, western Texas, and Mexico. It can be found among rocks in xeric regions on dry rocky slopes or exposed grassy hills from 100-2200m (Valdespino 1993; Mickel & Smith 2004). S. lepidophylla is known colloquially as the Rose of Jericho, flor de piedra, and resurrection fern because these plants have a characteristic behavior in which they become metabolically dormant and lateral branches curl inwards when dry during drought stress, and unfurl green with the arrival of moisture. Due in part to these interesting drought adapations S. lepidophylla has been of both commercial and scientific interest. Commercially, individual plants of S. lepidophylla are widely sold as novelty and curio items in gift shops and travel stores. Scientifically, work has been done to characterize its evolutionary relationship with other Selaginella taxa (Korrall & Kenrick 2004, Arrigo et al. 2013) as well as to understand the metabolic mechanisms of its dessication tolerance (Eickmeier 1979; Harten & Eickmeier 1986; Elbein et al. 2003; Iturriaga et al. 2006; Yobi et al. 2013).
- Mickel, John T., and Alan R. Smith. The Pteriodphytes of Mexico. New York Botanical Garden Press, New York, 2004.
- Valdespino, Ivan A. 1993. Selaginellaceae. In: Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 16+ vols. New York and Oxford. Vol. 2, pp. 38-63.
- Korrall, Petra, and Paul Kenrick. The phylogenetic history of Selaginellaceae based on DNA sequences from the plastid and nucleus: extremee substitution rates and rate heterogeneity. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 31: 852-864.
- Arrigo, Nils, James Therrien, Cajsa Lisa Anderson, Michael D. Windham, Christopher H. Haufler, and Michael S. Barker. 2013. A total evidence approach to understanding phylogenetic relationships and ecological diversity in Selaginella subg. Tetragonostachys. American Journal of Botany 100: 1672-1682.
- Eickmeier, W. G. 1979. Photosynthetic recovery in the resurrection plant Selaginella lepidophylla after wetting. Oecologia 39: 93-106.
- Harten, J. B., and W. G. Eickmeier. 1986. Enzyme dynamics of the resurrection plant Selaginella lepidophylla (Hook and Grev) Spring during rehydration. Plant Physiology 82: 61-64.
- Elbein, A. D., Y. T. Pan, I. Pastuszak, et al. 2003. New insights on trehalose: a multifunctional molecule. Glycobiology 13: 17R-27R.
- Iturriaga, G., M. A. F. Cushman, and J. C. Cushman. 2006. An EST catalogue from the resurrection plant Selaginella lepidophylla reveals abiotic stress-adaptive genes. Plant Science 170: 1173-1184.
- Yobi, A., B. W. Wone, W. Xu, et al. 2013. Metabolomic profiling in Selaginella lepidophylla at various hydration states provides new insights into the mechanistic basis of desiccation tolerance. Molecular Plant 6: 369-385.
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