Botanical Secrets: 33 Astonishing Facts About Plants

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1Pitcher plant

Pitcher plant

A pitcher plant in Borneo has evolved into a toilet for tree shrews. The plant provides nectar to attract shrews and the shrew's poop in the pitcher, feeding the plant.

2. The dandelion is edible, contains more beta-carotene than a carrot, and exists in the U.S. only because European settlers introduced it as a salad green.

3. Venus flytraps were believed to be an alien species because they seemed to grow in places where meteorites were found. It was thought they had been brought to Earth by meteors.

4. There is a species of orchid that evolved to look like a replica of a monkey's face. It grows in the cloud forests of Peru and Ecuador.

5. The petals of a sunflower are actually each single-petalled flowers. A sunflower is actually a cluster of hundreds of flowers.

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6Ketchup n Fries plant

Ketchup n Fries plant

There is a plant that is able to simultaneously produce both tomatoes and potatoes, cleverly named the "Ketchup 'n' Fries" plant.

7. Nintendo actually bred its own type of flower to market their series "Pikmin". This flower the Chaenostoma cordatum also known as the bacopa cabana is also called the "Pikmin flower" for that reason.

8. There is a flower that literally looks like a set of women’s lips and it's actually called “Hooker's Lips.”

9. There is a plant called Acacia phlebophylla which only grows in one place in the world, Mount Buffalo in Australia. It also happens to be one of the purest natural sources of the psychedelic drug DMT.

10. 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.

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11Rafflesia arnoldii

Rafflesia arnoldii

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

12. 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.

13. 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.

14. 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.

15. 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.

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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.

17. 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.

18. 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.

19. 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.

20. 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.'

21Tansy plant

Tansy plant

Tansy plant was used during the middle ages for abortions.

22. 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.

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

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

25. 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.

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