Notes Roseof Jericho

O my God, make them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind.

Psalms 83:13 (KJV)

Folklore has it that Mary clenched this in her hand when birthing Jesus (GHA). A typical tumble-weed and resurrection plant, it occurs in sand depressions or wadis in hot deserts, like the Judaean and Negev. It is probably what was mentioned as the "wheel" in Psalms 83. Zohary calls it the true Rose of Jericho. Dry fruiting branches hygroscopically expand into the "Jericho Rose" when placed in water, even if dry for several years. The rose is sold in Middle Eastern markets as "Kaff Mariam," (e.g., Qatar and other Arabian States and Emirates). The plant is soaked in water and, when it has unfurled, the water is drunk by the expectant mother, perhaps in hopes that the offspring will fill out as readily as the Jericho Rose, a symbol of resurrection (BAT; RIZ).

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