Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Weird Wednesday ~ Weird Plants

Resurrection Fern ~ (Pleopeltis polypodioides) This creeping fern is native to the Americas and Africa. It is an epiphyte - a plant which attaches itself to other plants and gets its water and nutrients from the air. It gets its name because it can survive long periods of drought by curling up its fronds and appearing dead and yet when the least bit of moisture is present, the fern will 'resurrect' and restore itself to a vivid green color within 24 hrs. It is estimated that these plants can go 100 years without water and still revive after a single soaking. 

Telegraph Plant ~ (Codarocalyx motorius) This plant is common throughout southeast Asia. It s known for its movement of small, lateral leaflets at speeds rapid enough to be perceived by the naked eye. This movement is a strategy to track the sun. Each leaf is equipped with a hinge that permits it to be moved to receive more sunlight. To optimize its movement, each leaf has two small leaflets at its base. These two small leaflets move constantly along an elliptical path, sampling the sunlight and directing the large leaf to the area of most intensity. This plant has been likened to a semaphore telegraph, a structure with adjustable paddles that could be seen from a distance, the position of the paddles conveyed a message in semaphore.

Sensitive Plant ~ (Mimosa pudica) This plant is a creeping annual native to Central and South America. It is also cultivated as a houseplant for its curiosity value. The compound leaves fold inward and droop when touched or shaken and will reopen minutes later.The leaves will also close at night and reopen again in the morning sunlight. This leaf sensitivity is also common in other plants of the Mimosa family.  It is unknown as to why the plant developed this trait - possibly to dislodge harmful insects or to shrink away from predators, as animals might be afraid of a fast moving plant.

Corpse Flower ~ (Rafflesia arnoldii) The Corpse Flower produces the largest individual flower on earth, reaching as much as 3ft across and weighing up to 24lb. It is a parasite of the Tetrastigma vine found in Borneo and Sumatra and grows in primarily undisturbed rainforests. The Corpse Flower lacks any observable leaves, stems, or even roots and contains no chlorophyll. It grows like many fungi, with thread like strands of tissue embedded within the host cells from which nutrients and water are obtained. The Corpse Flower has the distinct odor of rotting flesh which attracts flies and beetles which pollinate it.

Welwitschia ~ (Welwitschia mirabilis) Also known as 'A Living Fossil' this is the lone member of the genus. It can be found in the Namib Desert within Namibia and Angola. This plant has only two leaves which become torn and tattered over the plant's lifespan, possibly 1000 years or more. The Welwitschia will grow to be no more than 4ft - 5ft above ground but the circumference of the leaves at the base can exceed 24ft! This plant can also survive up to 5yrs with no rain.


Dede said...

The Corpse flower is gorgeous and so unique, but when I read about the smell, well that did it for me. I do love the Sensitive plant and the way it can move is super cool. You find the neatest stuff to share!
Wishing you a super exciting productive day!


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Isn't nature amazing?

mrsduncanmahogany said...

Wow, this is something amazing! That corpse flower, oh wow!