Fun Plant Facts (really, they are fun, I promise)
Here are some interesting and funny facts I found about different plants. If you want a little light reading, continue on...
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- An African bugleweed synthesises in its tissues a substance similar to the hormone that controls the development of caterpillars.
If a caterpillar is persuaded, experimentally, to ingest that substance, then when it turns into a butterfly it will develop two heads
and die. -David Attenborough, The Private Life of Plants, p70
- 84% of a raw apple and 96% of a raw cucumber is water. Source of this fact
and the next fourteen.
- A notch in a tree will remain the same distance from the ground as the tree grows.
- A pineapple is a berry.
- Arrowroot, an antidote for poisoned arrows, is used as a thickener in cooking (so if you ever get shot with a poison arrow, do not go
to a doctor, look in your kitchen cabinet.
- Avocados have the highest calories of any fruit at 167 calories per hundred grams.
- Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew cannabis sativa (marijuana) on their plantations.
- In the Netherlands, in 1634, a collector paid 1,000 pounds of cheese, four oxen, eight pigs, 12 sheep, a bed, and a suit of clothes
for a single bulb of the Viceroy tulip.
- No species of wild plant produces a flower or blossom that is absolutely black, and so far, none has been developed artificially.
- Nutmeg is extremely poisonous if injected intravenously.
- Peanuts are beans.
- Quinine, one of the most important drugs known to man, is obtained from the dried bark of an evergreen tree native to South America.
- The California redwood - coast redwood and giant sequoia - are the tallest and largest living organism in the world.
- The largest single flower is the Rafflesia or "corpse flower". They are generally 3 feet in diameter with the record being 42 inches.
- The oldest living thing in existence is not a giant redwood, but a bristlecone pine in the White Mountains of California, dated to be
aged 4,600 years old.
- The rose family of plants, in addition to flowers, gives us apples, pears, plums, cherries, almonds, peaches and apricots.
- Asparagus is a member of the lily family, which also includes onions, leeks, and garlic. Source of this fact
and the next three.
- The bright orange color of carrots tell you they are an excellent source of Vitamin A which is important for good eyesight,
especially at night. Vitamin A helps your body fight infection, and keeps your skin and hair healthy.
- Onions contain a mild antibiotic that fights infections, soothes burns, tames bee stings and relieves the itch of athletes foot.
- One bushel of corn will sweeten more than 400 cans of pop.