The resurrection fern is one of my favorite plants. It frequently looks like dead moss coating the upper side of trees, such as live oaks. A few hours after a nice rain, it turns into a lush verdant green coat growing on those same trees.
Resurrection ferns do no harm to trees and are not parasitic. They provide their own nutrients from the air and moisture on tree branches. Currently, they are even under scientific investigation for various medicinal and cosmetic benefits.
Resurrection ferns can do the most amazing thing! They can lose their moisture up to 97% and stay that way for hours, months, or even years. Most plants can’t survive losing even 10% of their moisture. The resurrection fern has a special mechanism in its fronds which curls them up and inward like an upturned closed fist. And then they wait for rain. They can do this because they can store energy to survive and have special cells which protect the plant when dry. When the rain finally comes, the plant very patiently rehydrates its stems first and then slowly sends water into its fronds, slowly plumping them and uncurling them to their former glory.
Fun fact: Resurrection fern went to space on the Discovery space shuttle in 1997 so the astronauts could watch it rehydrate in space.