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A desert rose – The Rose of Jericho

‘The Desert Rose’, ‘Rose of Jericho’ or ‘Resurrection Plant’ is small and grey. It  is also known by other names that includes ‘Saint Mary’s Flower’and ‘Mary’s Hand’. It is actually a tumble-weed and resurrection plant: meaning that it is ‘resurrects’ itself when coming into contact with water.

This wonderful plant is found in arid areas in the Negev and Sahara Desert, including parts of North Africa and regions of Egypt, Israel, Iraq, Jordan, Pakistan, and Iran. After the rainy season, the plant dries up, dropping leaves and curling branches into a tight ball, and dies. Once it gets wet in a rainy season once again it uncurls itself and disperses its seeds.

It was used by the Spanish Monks and Friars as a symbol of the Holy Trinity and imported the plant to the Americas to demonstrate to the Native Americans the power of the’Spanish’Christian God and the concept of rebirth.


A dry ‘Rose of Jericho’/ ‘Resurrection Plant

There is a legend around the Rose of Jericho…

The legend tells the tale of how when the Lord Jesus Christ went into the desert for 40 days to pray,God sent the Spirits of the Four Winds to blow a seemingly lifeless tumble weed called the Rose of Jericho to his feet. This sacred Rose of Jericho followed Christ during his days within the desert. During the dawn the Rose of Jericho would collect the moisture from the night’s dew.  Each morning Jesus would put his fingers to the Rose of Jericho and collect the little water it had and quench his thirst from the drops of water from the branches of the plant.  After the 40 days with in the desert, Jesus blessed the plant as a magical talisman of resurrection and sustaining life through hardship.

The one  minute video below shows the Desert Rose unfurling after being placed in water. 

The unfurled desert Rose.

The unfurled Desert Rose

Leave a comment


  1. That’s really cool. I had never heard of it. When I think of a desert rose, I think of the one the color desert rose is named after, the rock. They’re really cool too. Thanks.


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