Interesting Plant Facts
Children are very interested to learn about amazing facts about plants, animals, planets, dinosaurs. We are therefore compiling some interesting facts – many of them might come as a surprise to parents as well! This is the first article in the ‘10 Interesting Facts’ series.
Plants are all around us and we use them everyday – for oxygen, food, decoration, furniture etc. Here are some interesting facts and a few quiz questions about plants.
1. Fastest Growing Plant
Bamboo is an extremely rapid growing plant. In fact, some bamboo varieties can grow almost a metre (about 3.2 feet) in a single day!
‘An Apple a day keeps the doctor away” but did you know that the seeds of this amazing fruit can be toxic? Apple seeds contain amygdalin, a substance which releases cyanide (a very deadly poison) in the blood stream if you chew the seeds. In small quantities the blood enzymes detoxify them but they can be dangerous if taken in large quantities.
Fun Quiz: If you put an Apple in a tub of water, will it float or sink? Ans : It will float. Apple contains 25% air as a result of which it floats on water.
3. Carnivorous Plants
We all know about carnivorous animals, but do you know that there are carnivorous plants as well? In fact, there are around 600 species of carnivorous plants. The most common is the Venus Flytrap which eats tiny insects and spiders to get the required nutrients. A carnivorous plant in the Philippines is capable of devouring a full-grown rat alive!
This plant is an integral part of diet in many countries around the world. However, the first potatoes were cultivated in Peru about 7000 years ago. It has been a part of diet since many centuries and has traveled across continents since then.
Banana comes from an Arabic word which means fingers. They contain a chemical, called tryptophan, which the body converts to serotonin. Serotonin is responsible for making people happier. Therefore eating banana may actually make you feel happier.
Fun Quiz – Can you guess what a cluster of 10-20 bananas is called? It is called a ‘hand’!
6. Largest Flower
Rafflesia is the largest flower in the world. It can grow upto a diameter of 100 cms and weigh upto 10kg! It looks and smells like rotting flesh. It is mainly found in South East Asian countries like Thailand, Malaysia and Philippines. It is a parasitic plant and the only part visible outside the host is the 5-petalled flower.
It is the only fruit which has seeds on the outside. One strawberry can have around 200 seeds.
While onions are used to add flavor to food, it is also a mild antibiotic and can be useful in fighting infections, soothing burning and has known to be effective against bee stings as well.
Fun Quiz – Why does a person get teary eyed when cutting an onion? Onions contain sulfuric acid which irritates the eyes when we cut the onions. Eyes produce tears to wash the acid away.
9. Plant for Food
Humans use over 2000 types of plants to make a variety of food!
Over a period of many-many years, plant matter which settles down at the bottom of water bodies like swamps, can turn into coal. This process is known as metamorphosis.