Silene stenophylla is a flowering plant found in Siberia. In 2007, more than 600000 frozen mature and immature seeds of this plant were found buried in squirrel burrows near the bank of the river Kolyma. Using special dating techniques, it was determined that the seeds were around 31800 years old. After more than 30000 years, a saline stenophylla put forth pretty white flowers and bore fruit. This makes it the most ancient, multicellular, living organism on earth.
Attenborough’s pitcher plant is the largest among all the pitcher plants and also the largest among meat-eating shrubs. It was found on Mount Victoria in the Philippines in 2007. The pitchers are up to 30cm in height, and each one can devour even animals as big as rats for lunch.
There are nearly 2000 species of buttercups that mostly inhabit the northern hemisphere. They are usually found in cold and temperate regions like the Himalayas. They can grow from 35 to 40 cm in height. They can even grow as high as 6400 meters up the mountain slopes. Mountain Buttercup plants are the highest-known flowering plant, and they bloom every year.
It is found mostly in Mount Kenya’s rocky valleys, at a height of 5000 meters above sea level, and is popularly known as the ostrich plume plant. This species survives in an area where most of the plants die because of the heat, and also extremely low temperatures. The plant can cope with these extreme conditions because its leaves are furry. During the day the fur acts as a sunscreen. At night the leaves close up and the fur protects them from the frost. It is the only plant in the world that could fairly be described as cuddly.
Banyan trees are one of the most spectacular trees in the world. A fully grown banyan tree looks like a group of trees; some of them have even 1000 trunks. These trunks are rope-like roots that grow downwards from the branches. The old banyan tree can reach more than 199 meters in diameter and can be as tall as 29 meters. Popularly found in India and Sri Lanka, it is considered to be a sacred tree, and is the national tree of India.
Giant Kelp is the largest algae on the planet. It is rooted in the seabed and grows towards the surface very rapidly. Gas bladders are another unique feature of kelp. In addition to being the biggest seaweed, it is also the fastest-growing plant under favorable conditions. California sea lions, harbor seals, sea otters, and whales may feed in the kelp or shelter in the kelp, to escape storms or predators.
The Mexican fern is found in tropical forests. It is one of the slowest-growing plants in the world. It grows even slower than our fingernails do. Our fingernails grow at the rate of 3 mm every month, but Mexican fern grows hardly 1 mm a year. A fully grown adult fern can be 2000 years old. In these 2000 years, the fern would have reached a height of just 1.5 meters.
Living Baseball Plant
A living baseball is a plant that looks just like a baseball. It can grow to a height of 20 cm with a diameter of around 10 cm. This ball-shaped, dwarf succulent plant is found in South Africa. Living baseball plants are so very well camouflaged that it is often difficult to spot one. The plant also has toxic milky latex. Contact with the latex can irritate the skin, so it is a useful safeguard from pests for the plant.
The name foxglove refers to the shape of the flowers of this plant. The foxglove is a plant that uses poison to defend itself. Its sap, flower, seeds, and leaves are all poisonous. The leaves contain a poison called cardiac glycosides. These poisons can harm, and even kill human beings. Foxglove plants can have medical benefits like helping the muscles of the heart to contract and reducing the frequency of heartbeats.
The Sticky Catchfly is an attractive wildflower that has purple flowers on a tall stem. It is found in dry rocky places in Europe. The flowering stems have hairs tipped with a reddish-brown sticky substance just below the leaves. Anyone trying to pluck the flower will find the same sticky substance all over his or her fingers as well.
Trumpet Pitcher Plant
Some types of sarracenia are also known as trumpet pitchers. They have deep, tubular leaves that are traps to catch insects. Insects fall in, die, and sink to the bottom to be digested. These pitcher plants have hoods or caps. The purpose of the hood on most pitcher plants is to keep out rainwater and prevent prey from flying out. Trumpet pitchers are unique and found mainly in North America.
Bladderworts are floating plants with erect stems and flowers, but no roots. The leaf branches are underwater, not on the surface. The underwater leaves have small oval traps called bladders. Each bladder has a valve that is equipped with tiny hairs. The valve is closed unless an insect touches it. It will then snap open, and capture the insect. Once the prey is inside the trap, the valve will snap shut. After the prey has been digested, the trap is reset, and the plant waits for its next victim.
Plant which attract, traps, kill, and digests insects or other small animals are known as carnivorous plants, Venus flytrap is one of them. It is very different from other plants; its leaves are designed in such a way that an insect landing on a leaf is instantly trapped to provide a tasty meal for the plant. The digestion process may take up to 10 days and the leaf will open again, and be ready to trap its next prey.
The Rafflesia arnoldii is a parasitic plant that lives inside the host plant for months, which is a vine. So you can see it very rarely, as it gets all the nutrients from the host. The Rafflesia produces the largest single flowers in the world. The flowers can take up to 10 months to develop from the first visible bud to the open bloom, which may last no more than a few days. The Rafflesia flowers are unfortunately very stinky. Rafflesia is commonly found in Sumatra and also in primary rainforests.
American Cancer Root Plant
American Cancer Root Plant is like pine cones growing from the root of an oak tree. It is also known as the squawroot. This plant connects to the roots of other plants through specialized roots known as haustoria. They do not manufacture any food on their own and are completely dependent on the host for survival.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2023 Omkar Mhatre