20 facts about plants - our friends and neighbors on the planet (Did you know that a cucumber is not a vegetable, a peanut is not a nut?)
The good news is that there are 300,000 varieties of plants on the planet today (and there will be more discoveries), 70,000 of which are used for medicinal purposes. For us, they are life itself: oxygen, nutrition, healing, so the importance of flora for a person can hardly be overestimated.
Dandelion wine, bluebell glue, baobab water… 20 little-known facts about the flora of the Earth.
However, not all of them are universal friends. There are those who can "bite", and someone just eat. The most common vegetable, for example, produces sulfuric acid from our tears. Some people store water well in drought - 120 thousand liters, how do you like such volumes? True, mostly for themselves ... And some people directly parasitize on their fellows, "sniffing out" what is tastier. The variety of plants is amazing: there are from 0.1 mm in diameter to 115 meters in height.
Fortunately, the most useful family of roses grows literally all over the planet and supplies us with fruits and berries. Read about our best friends, plants, in Bemorepanda's selection.
1. Magic oak
Oak has long been considered a symbol of courage and stamina: it was a sacred tree of many peoples, such as the ancient Slavs and Celts. Usually oaks do not produce acorns until they are 50 years old. An oak tree strewn with acorns is very good to see in a dream - this is for well-being and career growth.
2. Dandelion is a universal remedy
The whole dandelion plant, including the roots and petals, can be consumed as food and medicine.
Dried dandelion flowers can replace saffron. The flowers are also used to make jam, honey and wine, they are added to salads (it is the flowers that are used: all the green parts have a bitter taste).
The plant has a diaphoretic, antipyretic effect, it treats pancreatitis, gastritis with weakened secretion, liver stones, hepatitis, constipation and hemorrhoids, colitis and enteritis. Dandelion is useful for poisoning with poisons, with a sting of a scorpion, bees.
3. Grass as high as a house
Elephant grass, which grows in Africa, gets its name from the fact that it can reach a height of 4.5 meters (enough to hide an elephant).
4. Homeland of potatoes
South America is the birthplace of the potato. It was here that it was grown about 9-7 thousand years ago. The Indians worshiped this plant and considered it a living being. Today in South America you can find wild types of potatoes.
In Europe, this culture appeared only in the 16th century (first as an ornamental plant).
5. Stinging Tree
Australia has a "suicide plant" (Dendrocnide moroides). It is so named because its "bite" can have a lasting effect and cause such excruciating pain that some people commit suicide after coming into contact with it. Reaches 10 meters in height, and poisonous "from head to toe": the stem, branches, petioles, leaves and fruits are covered with burning hairs.
6. Himself a bouquet
It looks like a sunflower has one huge flower, but in fact each head is made up of hundreds of smaller flowers or inflorescences that mature into seeds. All members of the sunflower family, including daisies, yarrow, goldenrod, asters, coreopsis, and double cornflower, share this characteristic.
The spiral pattern at the centers of the sunflower is the Fibonacci sequence: impressive, since the plant has never learned math.
7. Don't drink from the cactus
The moisture that the cactus stores is not to be consumed (although in many feature films we see the opposite). Despite the fact that these plants can accumulate a large amount of water, it is unsuitable for humans. There is no poison in it, but acids and alkaloids harm the kidneys.
8. The oldest secret
Although the ancient Egyptians were the first to describe the technique of making wine from herbs and plants about 5,000 years ago, archaeologists have found evidence that grapes were grown in the Caucasus (present-day Georgia) about 8,000 years ago.
9. Air cranberry
The cranberry floats and bounces in the water thanks to tiny air bubbles inside it.
Tip: If you ever find yourself stranded on a desert island, tie hundreds of thousands of cranberries together to swim to freedom...
10. Festive, poisonous
La Fete du Muguet, or Lily of the Valley, is celebrated in France on May 1st. On this occasion, bouquets of flowers are given to loved ones with the wishes of health and happiness.
Wash your hands after picking and don't touch your eyes: these flowers are poisonous! And keep them away from children and pets.
11. Close relatives
Nectarines and peaches mainly differ in that nectarines have smooth skins while peaches have fluffy skins. Both nectarine and peach fruit can be obtained by grafting peach branches onto nectarine trees, or vice versa.
12. Tree old-timers
One of the oldest surviving tree species is the ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba), which is approximately 290 million years old. Another old species is the metasequoia (Metasequoia glyptostroboides), which is about 150 million years old. Before they were discovered in nature (alive), both were identified in the fossil record.
13. Battle of the Peppers
The claim to be the hottest chili pepper in the world is still controversial. The Carolina Reaper has already supplanted Ghost Pepper, which is 401.5 times hotter than store-bought hot sauce. The search for the hottest pepper in the world continues...
Camellia sinensis (tea bush, aka Chinese camellia) is the source of all teas, including black, green, and white. Processing technologies are the only thing that distinguishes them.
Not exactly: it depends on the country. In France, the name (the) is reserved only for products from this plant family. Everything else is a "decoction" or "infusion". In other countries, they can be labeled as herbal tea, so in Switzerland, for example, you will find chamomile or mint tea from the same product.
15. Amazing Bamboo
Bamboo is the fastest growing woody plant in the world. In one day, it can grow up to 88 centimeters.
It is less environmentally friendly and has a lower carbon footprint than cotton. It also doesn't need pesticides, fertilizers or water to grow. In addition, it is resistant to insects and pathogenic bacteria. Bamboo fabric also has antibacterial and many other properties that cotton does not have.
16. Deadly Beauty
Oleander (Nerium oleander), a beautiful flowering shrub endemic to the Mediterranean, is deadly in all forms. If oleander leaves are ingested, the effects on the cardiovascular, neurological, and gastrointestinal systems can be fatal.
17. Can eat at dinner ...
A carnivorous plant native to the Philippines can "eat" a rat from nose to tail! Our advice is to keep your fingers to yourself when you are around him.
Do you think it will take root in my house? Seems more natural than mouse traps! "Has anyone seen Fluffy?"
18. Bell glue
The sap of the bluebell flowers was used to make glue. Its bulbs were crushed to make starch for collars and cuffs in the Elizabethan era, and their sticky sap was once used to bind books and glue quills to arrows.
70% of the bluebells in the world grow in the UK.
19. Is orange better?
Carrots were originally purple, not orange. Her new color is the result of centuries of crossbreeding.
By the way, many people like the taste of purple carrots more: it is softer.
20. Great fruit
Pineapples are the only edible members of the bromeliad family.
The English name for pineapple (pineapple) came from European explorers who believed it had an apple-like flesh and a pine cone appearance. The word ananas comes from the Tupi language, where nana means "excellent fruit".