Everybody reacts to stress differently. And there are different kinds of stressors. If you’re a plant, stress might come in the form of drought. This plant’s reaction to drought stress, is to dry up. It’s not a simple process. It’s cellular and molecular. It is so complex and cool that it got to go up into space in ’97 on the Space Shuttle Discovery so that it could be observed in zero gravity. So, what kind of feel is it?

Resurrection Fern

It’s a resurrection fern. See the picture of the dried-out crispy-looking fern? It’s ok, don’t be sad! It just hasn’t rained in a while and the fern has gone dormant and is “dealing with life” in that way. Once it rains again, it will look like the picture of the happy-looking fern. It only takes a few hours and it’s all back up and ready to spread its spores in the wind and make new baby ferns, or just hang out and enjoy the scenery. Why does it live in the trees, though?

Normally, as an epiphyte, it hangs out on tree branches, oaks, pecans, cypresses and other types of trees. It doesn’t want anything from the tree, it just needs somewhere to live. It gets all of its nutrients and moisture from the air and rain. Epiphytes are “air plants”, from the Greek words epi and phyton and you get “on top of plant”. Spanish moss is an epiphyte too. But it’s a bromeliad and that’s a “plant” for another day.