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Interesting Plant Life

From the worst smelling plant with a connection to the dead to some of the oldest and rarest of its kind, there are a great deal of fascinating facts regarding plants and trees around the world. In this article, you will learn about interesting trivia that includes record-breaking plant life.

The Worst-Smelling Plant

Not all plants smell like roses, especially when it comes to the titan arum, which is appropriately nicknamed the “corpse flower.” Found growing in Sumatran rainforests, the plant is thought to be the smelliest plant in the world. When it blooms, it lets go an unpleasant odor that is compared to the scent of rotting flesh. This is a purposeful attempt to attract flies, which helps the plant compete the pollination process. The plant smells so bad that the odor can be detected up to ½ mile away.

Where the Endangered is”¦

Cape Flats in South Africa is home to the most endangered plant species in the world, where 15 species per square kilometer is facing extinction.

A Picky Eater

The Venus flytrap is not the only plant that enjoys feasting on the living. Nepenthes albomarginata is a species of carnivorous plant that is found in Malaysia and Indonesia. The only thing that it will feed on is a certain kind of termite (hospitalitermes bicolor), and even its body is prepared for the meal. The plant is covered in trichomes, which are hairs that the termites like to feed on. However, the termites accidentally make their way down the ‘throat’ of the plant to eat the hairs and are digested by liquids situated at the bottom of the flower.

Most Deadly Plant

When you think of plants, one of the last things on your mind is that it can kill you. However, with the common castor bean plant actually possesses a toxin that can quickly kill a human. Thanks to a substance called ricin, the plant can cause a breakdown of red blood cells and encourage internal bleeding. The toxin is 6,000 times more potent than cyanide and 12,000 times more poisonous that the venom of a rattlesnake.

Really Old Trees  

If you ever visit the churchyard of St. Digain’s parish church in Llangernyw, North Wales in the United Kingdom, then you will come across the oldest yew tree in the world. Estimated to be 4,000 years old, the specimen is a common yew , also known as Taxus baccata. Estimated to be more than 4,000 years old as well, the oldest cypress tree is found in Abarkooh, Yazd in Iran. The tree has become a tourist attraction and a national monument in the region and is known as Sarv-e-Abarkooh or Zoroastrian Sarv.

Quick Reflexes

Carnivorous plants use special senses to enjoy their next meal, but the plant with the ability to snag their dinner the fastest is the Venus flytrap. It is the clamshell-shaped leaves of the plant that make it easier for the Venus flytrap to capture its food. It is considered to have the fastest movements in all the plant kingdom as it can shut in one-tenth of a second, which equals out to 100 milliseconds. An underwater creature that has an exceptional reaction time is the bladderwort, which has a hinged trapdoor that seals the deal of its next meal in 1/ 15,0000th of a second.