50 Weird and Interesting Facts about Plants

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26Rhizanthella gardneri

Rhizanthella gardneri

In Australia, there is an orchid (Rhizanthella gardneri) which grows entirely underground. It was discovered in 1928 by a farmer after he noticed a sweet smell coming from the ground. The discovery generated such excitement that a wax model was toured around the British Isles.

27. The largest individual flower on earth is Rafflesia arnoldii, which looks and smells like rotting flesh, meant to attract flies.

28. The Titan Arum, nicknamed the "Corpse Flower", is both one of the largest and odorous plants in the world. Reaching up to 3 meters high, it smells similar to a decomposing animal. Specific stenches released include Limburger cheese, rotting fish, sweaty socks, and mothballs.

29. There is a plant called Ramonda Serbica, which miraculously comes to life when watered, even if it's completely dried. That's why it's also called the Serbian Phoenix Flower.

30. Many plants that we consider to be weeds are edible natives to North America, and among them is cattail (Typha), which one can eat the roots and stock of raw or cooked, while the newly developing flower-head can be eaten like corn-on-the-cob and has a corn-like taste.

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There is a flower that is often used as a food dye in Southeast Asian cuisine called “Clitoria” named so because it resembles a woman’s sexual organs.

32. The pansy is quite a durable flower, able to survive with little water and freezing temperatures, despite its derogatory use as an "unmanly" or spineless person.

33. Sunflowers can be used to clean up radioactive waste. They are able to extract pollutants, including radioactive metal contaminants, through their roots and store them in the stems and leaves, making them the international symbol of nuclear disarmament.

34. Goldenrod flowers were considered a weed in the United States until the 1980s. They are made of as much as 12% rubber. Thomas Edison experimented to grow a 12-foot Goldenrod. His friend Henry Ford gifted him a model T made with Goldenrod tires.

35. In the 17th century in the Netherlands, there was a tulip flower bubble that allowed tulip traders to earn the equivalent of almost $62,000 a month.

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36Kali tragus

Kali tragus

The tumbling tumbleweed (Kali tragus), a long-standing symbol of the lonely American West, is actually a foreign introduced species from Asia commonly called 'Russian thistle.'

37. Tansy plant was used during the middle ages for abortions.

38. The blossoms of the skunk cabbage can become so hot that they will melt snow and provide a warm haven for insects to encourage pollination.

39. Mimosa Pudica, a plant which instantly folds its leaves when touched or disturbed, is capable to learn and retain the memory of previous experiences.

40. The Foxglove is poisonous to ingest and can cause heart failure, but applying a precise amount can actually make your heart stronger.

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41Forget me not

Forget me not

The flower "Forget me not" was used by freemasons during Nazi Europe to remember the poor and desperate so as not to be singled out and persecuted.

42. Black tea, green tea, white tea, and oolong tea all come from the same tea plant. The leaves are simply aged and processed differently.

43. There is a plant called "Electric Daisy" whose leaves will make you salivate uncontrollably.

44. Coffee plants lace their nectar with small doses of caffeine, so when insects feed on caffeine-spiked nectar, they become much more likely to remember the scent of the flower and pollinate it further.

45. There is a plant called the Skeleton Flower whose petals turn transparent when wet and then revert back to white when dry.



Buttercups are poisonous. The unassuming flowers, if eaten raw, can cause severe blistering in the mouth and intestines as well as bloody diarrhea.

47. Azalea Bush is incredibly toxic and creates poisonous honey. To send a bouquet of Azalea (and Rhododendron, also poisonous) flowers in a black vase was a well-known death threat.

48. The Alula flower is almost extinct because the Hawk Moth, its only pollinator has disappeared. The few remaining wild plants are being hand pollinated by botanists by hanging on cliff sides.

49. The Giant Hogweed is a phototoxic, noxious weed that can cause 2nd-degree burns, blisters, scarring and sometimes blindness.

50. The reason grass makes you itch is because it actually cuts your skin with its serrated edges.

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