Since the beginning of time, flowers have intrigued us with their unique beauty and enticing scents. But some of these exceptional ‘gifts of nature’ possess unbelievable characteristics that are unknown to many of us. Here are some strange facts about flowers, both rare breeds and those we see regularly.
In 17th Century Holland, Tulip bulbs were more valuable than gold! The flower symbolized immortality, life and love. In 1630’s a kind of frenzy for tulips occurred in Western Europe named “Tulip mania” and tulips became so expensive as to be treated as a form of currency.Tulips lifespan is very short, being 3 to 7 days.
Gas Plant or the Burning Bush as it is sometimes called, earned it's name because it's leathery green leaves, flowers and seed pods give off a strong lemon scented vapor which, on a calm summer night can be ignited with a match.
Angelica was used in Europe for hundreds of years as a cure for everything from the bubonic plague to indigestion. It is thought that adding it to a ritual bath will break spells and hexes and has often been used to ward off evil spirits in the home. Because it resembles celery in odor and appearance, angelica sometimes is known as wild celery. Alternative medicine practitioners say Angelica is a good herbal tea to take for colic, gas, indigestion, hepatitis, and heartburn. It is useful to add in remedies for afflictions of the respiratory system, as well as liver problems and digestive difficulties.
Flowers of bamboo are rarely seen. Some species of bamboo develop flowers after 65 or 120 years. Interesting fact about flowering is that all plants of one bamboo species develop flowers at the same time, no matter where they are located in the world. Bamboo releases 30% more oxygen into the atmosphere and absorbs more carbon dioxide compared to other plants. Because of these features, bamboo greatly decreases amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and cleans the air.
The lotus was considered a sacred flower by ancient Egyptians and was used in burial rituals. This flower blooms in rivers and damp wetlands, but may lie dormant for years during times of drought, only to rise again with the return of water. Egyptians viewed it as a symbol of resurrection and eternal life. While others view the flower as a symbol of beauty, grace, purity and serenity.
Blue cohosh, also known as squaw root or papoose root, was used by Native American women to ensure an easy labor and childbirth. According to an article on ancient birth control methods, Midwives today may use blue cohosh in the last month of pregnancy to tone the uterus in preparation for labour. The completely unrelated but similarly named black cohosh also has estrogenic and abortifacient properties and was often combined with blue cohosh to terminate a pregnancy.
It is said, albeit with dispute from some quaters, that the Sunflower head track's the sun's movement, a phenomenon known as heliotropism. The Sunflower head is actually made of many tiny flowers called florets. M. Heijmf in the Netherlands grew the tallest sunflower which stood at 25' 5.5" tall in 1986. Sunflower seeds are rich in oil, which they store as a source of energy and food; its seeds are crushed to produce sunflower oil for cooking.
The Agave, also known as the century plant spends many years without growing any flowers, after which it grows one single bloom and dies.This phenomenon is called being monocarpic.
Moon flowers bloom only at night, closing during the day. They have large 4 to 6 inch fragrant, white or pink flowers on twining vines. The Moon flower opens in the evening and lasts through the night, remaining open until it comes into contact with the morning Sun.
Roses are related to apples, raspberries, cherries, peaches, plums, nectarines, pears and almonds. Rose hips (the berry-like fruit structure of rose) of some species of rose are amongst the richest source of Vitamin C. They are used to make jams, jellies and also brewed for tea. In ancient Egypt roses were considered as sacred flowers. Ancient Egyptians used them during funerals to form a beautiful wreath on the tomb stone. The flower was used to serve the Goddess Isis in a sacred ritual.
Water-meal is one of the duckweeds in the family Lemnaceae that contains some 38 species of the smallest and simplest flowering plants. Each Wolffia flower consists of a single pistil and stamen; it also produces the world’s smallest fruit, called a utricle. The plant is found in quiet freshwater lakes or marshes with species worldwide. Since the plants have no roots, they can easily float on the surface of the water, where they resemble cornmeal.
Titan Arum are the world’s largest flower; the circumference of their huge flowers can be over three metres and they stand three metres high with a single leaf able to grow to the size of a small tree. Due to its horrible smell of rotten flesh, it is also known as corpse flower.
Thanks Flowerweb for these fantastic facts!