They don’t look like much normally. But these little plants are really quite amazing. First of all they are one of the longest living plants in the world. In prehistoric times the ancestor to this particular plant would grow to be larger than a Tyrannosaurus Rex! Over 120 feet! But today they are much smaller.
The really great thing about these is that they are great if you aren’t so good with plants. They can stay dormant like shown above for up to 50 years and will still perk up when placed in water.
Not only do they perk up ~ they turn green as well!
Even though they can sleep for that long, they really do like to have some water every once in a while. They can grow indefinitely in a bowl of water, but also like some rest too. Mine usually looks like the first picture. Every few weeks we let it sit in water for a few days. We change the water daily and rinse the plant off when changing the water. I have personally noticed that if left in water for too long it will grow mold, so definitely make sure to let it dry out.
Want it to go back to sleep? Just let the water evaporate:
Some interesting facts:
1. Native to Mexico and Texas
2. They curl up into a tight ball when dry so the wind can roll them around to a new location.
3. Needs some dry periods, which keeps them small.
4. Often used as Christmas decorations.
5. They are used to make fireworks.
6. They retain 3% of the water when dehydrated.
7. Is made into a absorptive powder in the pharmaceutical industry.
I know they are sold out west in roadside souvenir shops. I got mine from my aunt and I have no idea where she got them from. I think you can order them online as well. They are really quite fun to have!