Remarkable Plants



June 17, 2023

Remarkable Plants

Col Hasan mentions some exquisite natural phenomena

Remarkable Plants – World records are all about superlatives, which means there are world records for just about anything that goes further than the rest. Plants naturally hold their fair share, and people have gone to great lengths to push nature into its most extreme forms. From the “most” in the world to some that are truly out of this world

Most dangerous tree
The manchineel tree found along Florida’s Everglades and the Caribbean coast, bears the fearsome title of world’s most dangerous tree. It’s also called Poison Guava, and all of its parts are toxic. Carib Indians used the sap to tip poison arrows for its power to scald skin on contact; even standing under the tree in the rain is dangerous. Smoke from the burning wood can cause blindness, and the tree’s sweetly scented fruit —misleadingly called “beach apples”—are also poisonous causing internal swelling, ulceration and hemorrhaging.

Loneliest tree
The world’s most remote tree is a Sitka spruce—a species native to the Northern Hemisphere—in Antarctica, purportedly planted by the governor of New Zealand in 1901 and the only tree for 222 kilometres around. Prior to that, the record was held by an acacia in the Niger desert; known as the Tree of Tenere, it was felled when a drunk driver managed to hit the only tree around for 400 kilometres (250 miles).

Oldest tree Methuselah
The world’s oldest living tree is a bristlecone pine in the White Mountains of eastern California. Methuselah, as it is appropriately dubbed, is confirmed to be more than 4,850 years old; one of its cousins in Nevada, cut down in 1963, was found to be 5,200 years old and the oldest known tree ever recorded.

Tall and stinky
The world’s tallest flower is also the world’s smelliest. In 2018, a specimen of the titan arum at London’s Royal Botanical Gardens Kew produced a bloom that loomed more than three metres (almost 10 feet) tall. Native to the Indonesian rainforests of Sumatra, the other so-called corpse flower attracts pollinator flies by briefly broadcasting an odour of rotting flesh so pungent it can be whiffed a full 800 metres (half-mile) away.

Quick shoot
Technically a grass, bamboo takes the title for fast-growing plant. Bamboo canes can grow as tall as trees, with some species shooting up as much as 01 centimeters (35 inches) per day. Scientists are still piecing together the biology that underpins bamboo’s impressive growth, and makes it one of the most useful plants in the world today, particularly for sustainable solutions.

Space flowers
The first flower in space bloomed aboard the Soviet Union’s Salyut-7 space station in 1982. Decades later, the tough, tiny thale cress often studied as a model species in biology, continues to flourish in Earth orbit and has even been modified to glow when it is under stress.

Shining bloom
The world’s first bioluminescent flower began glowing in 1999. Molecular biologist Chia Tet Fatt spent nine years engineering the feat, inserting a firefly gene— luciferase—into an orchid genome and causing the whole plant to emit visible light, from roots to petals. The Weekender


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