It's easy to go on forever about plant care techniques and go down the rabbit hole of nitty gritty plant science, but sometimes it's fun to just talk about plant weirdness. Enjoy these 8 weird plant facts!
1. Living bridges
There are a few cultures in India, Indonesia, and Java that will form trees in such a way that their roots grow into living bridges! The kind of tree that is used in this process is a ficus elastica, or rubber tree, which can grow hundreds of feet tall in its natural environment. Tree forming is not an art that's specific to any one region, but it takes some real dedication to form it for long enough that it grows into an entire bridge!
2. The flower of the infamous corpse flower is warm
By now most people have heard of the corpse flower and its legendary stink, but few know that the large 15 foot flower is warm on top of being absolutely foul. It's grosser that it's warm.
3. All of the teas are from Camellia Sinensis
White tea, yellow tea, green tea, oolong, dark tea, and black tea are all from the same plant! The differences between these teas are purely related to how they're processed.
4. Trees were not around for 90% of Earth's history
Can you believe they only evolved 450 million years ago? And for a long time after even that, they didn't grow taller than a meter off the ground!
5. Before trees, there were HUMONGOUS fungi
Prototaxites were tall (understatement) fungi that grew 3 feet in diameter and around 26 feet tall! They didn't have the top section that you think of when you picture a normal mushroom - it looks like a fungus stem just jutted up from the ground and left it at that!
6. There's a wild fig tree in South Africa with roots that go 400 feet deep
They know this because those roots extend into a cave system called Echo Cave, where you can go and see the roots for yourselves. For reference, most trees only stick their roots down somewhere in the 18 inch range.
7. "Vegetable" is mostly a culinary term, not a scientific classification
We can stop the discourse about fruits versus vegetables. If a scientist says "vegetable", what they mean is "a plant". Tomatoes are fruits AND vegetables.
8. There is no "red fern" like the one mentioned in the novel/movie Where The Red Fern Grows
Which might seem obvious, considering the red fern was said in the novel to only come into existence when planted by an angel. But, yknow. We still wondered. But no, no confirmed red fern.
Hope you had fun learning these, and we encourage you to do more research if any of them piqued your interest!