Dating back to the Ice Age, the Orpheus flower lived through the harshest conditions on Earth. Still thriving today, it has the strength to survive complete dehydration for 31 months and spring back to a lush green state with a single drop of water, for which it is also known as the ‘Resurrection flower’.
Here are some fascinating facts you haven't heard about the Orpheus Flower.
Prof. D. Djilianov - an expert from the University of Biotechnology in Bulgaria, who dedicated the last three decades of his career to studying the ancient plant explains:
“In our region, the last Ice Age according to specialists was less than 20,000 years ago which is quite soon from an evolutionary point of view! Plants as a whole are much older and can ‘live’ as a species much longer than that. We look to discern the time period when closely related plant species divide and become their own species. Using this sophisticated approach we were able to define that Haberlea Rhodopensis (the Orpheus Flower) became a separate plant species about 25 million years ago.” Read the full interview
2. The Resurrection flower is found in only two places in the world.
Thriving in high altitudes on winding slopes, along both healing mineral springs and jagged volcanic rock. these remote locations are both known as “The Devil’s Bridge,” situated in the beautiful Rhodope mountains of Bulgaria
The manmade Devil’s Bridge near the river Arda is an architectural marvel construed in the 16th century. It was built over a demolished Roman bridge and cuts from the steep slopes of the Rhodope Mountains. A legend has it that the devil’s footprint can be found somewhere on the rocks.
Another picturesque eco trail called "Devil's path" passes by the pure creation of nature – “The Devil’s Bridge’, located in the Rhodope Mountains near the village of Borino. This volcanic rock bridge is about 10m. long and 30m. high. There is something magical about it. The tranquility mystic is something that you can feel even in the air.
3. Elusive in nature, the Orpheus flower reveals its violet bell-shaped blossom when touched by sunlight, its delicate petals open for only two weeks in Spring. Entire meadows enveloped in purple—an unforgettable scene of pure radiance.
4. Ancient coins dating back to the Roman empire depict the Orpheus flower and it is said that Romans believed it will bring their people health, longevity and tranquility. Today, the Orpheus flower is one of the key ingredients in the Tibetan “Tea of Youth".
5. NASA scientists have conducted experimental research of the Orpheus flower and its properties but all findings remain secret.