Day 4: 5 cool plants

Hello, I’m sure you are all getting fed up of reading my posts by now, the fourth day. But if you’re not then here you go, another post! This one is a list of 5 plants that I think are pretty cool.

Venus fly trap

venus fly trap.gif

Looking on the internet, there were some very violent images of venus fly traps capturing many things, these were all too horrifying to put on here, so here is a very tame gif. Additional to the spiky hairs on the edge of the trap, there are bristles on the lobes. When an insect steps on the bristles of these lobes, initially nothing happens but if the insect then touches the same bristle or another one within 20 seconds, the trap snaps shut. It’s awesome to think that a plant can count [info from David Attenborough’s Private Life of Plants].

Arabidopsis thaliana

Ok, so this one may not be cool in the traditional sense of the word. Arabidopsis is massive in plant science research it is used as a model plant. It is thale cress, it is a weed that you would find in your back garden. I think Arabidopsis is such a cool plant because it seems so small an insignificant yet much of what we know today about plants was figured out using it, and it is just such an important plant.

arabidopsis.gif

Rafflesia arnoldii

Cool or weird? Not so sure with this one.

corpseflower.jpg

This plant is parasitic and has no roots or leaves, if the sight of it hasn’t already caused you to rush down to the shops, it also smells like rotting flesh. The flower buds are used in traditional medicine to help with pains during childbirth.

Ginkgo biloba

ginkgobiloba.jpg

This plant is a member of a group of trees that appeared before dinosaurs were on this planet, individual trees of this species also live a really long time, the oldest lived for 3,500 years old. This tree is like a bridge between higher and lower plants.

Ginkgo biloba is used in both Chinese traditional medicine and Western medicine. The plants medicinal properties have been greatly researched. An extract from the leaves is used to aid in cognitive function, it’s ability to act as successful remedy for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia has been researched with mixed outcomes.

Sundews

sundew.gif

Much like the first plant on this list, sundews are carnivorous. The sundew traps the insect with glandular hairs, these hairs then secrete digestive enzymes which break down the insect, the highest levels are seen on the 4th day after capture. This mechanism is a lot slower than the venus fly trap mechanism but its still cool. Apart from sundews insect-eating powers, I also think these plants are really pretty.

 

 

 

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