Fun Facts about Plants
Nutmeg is extremely poisonous if injected intravenously. Oak trees do not have acorns until they are fifty years old or older. One pound of tea can make 300 cups of the beverage. One ragweed plant can release as many as one billion grains of pollen. Oranges, lemons, watermelons, and tomatoes are berries. Orchids have the smallest seeds. It takes more than 1.25 million seeds to weigh 1 gram. Peanuts are beans. Plants that need to attract moths for pollination are generally white or pale yellow, to be better seen when the light is dim. Plants that depend on butterflies, such as the poppy or the hibiscus, have more colorful flowers. Quinine, one of the most important drugs known to man, is obtained from the dried bark of an evergreen tree native to South America. Rice paper isn't made from rice but from a small tree which grows in Taiwan. Tea was so expensive when it was first brought to Europe in the early 17th century that it was kept in locked wooden boxes. The California redwood - coast redwood and giant sequoia - are the tallest and largest living organism in the world. The first American advertisement for tobacco was published in 1789. It showed a picture of an Indian smoking a long clay pipe. The fragrance of flowers is due to the essences of oil which they produce. The largest single flower is the Rafflesia or "corpse flower". They are generally 3 feet in diameter with the record being 42 inches. The oldest living thing in existence is not a giant redwood, but a bristlecone pine in the White Mountains of California, dated to be aged 4,600 years old. The pineapple was symbol of welcome in the 1700-1800's. That is why in New England you will see so many pineapples on door knockers. An arch in Providence RI leading into the Federal Hill neighborhood has a pineapple on it for that very reason. Pineapples were brought home by seafarers as gifts. The plant life in the oceans make up about 85 percent of all the greenery on the Earth. The popular name for the giant sequoia tree is Redwood. The rose family of plants, in addition to flowers, gives us apples, pears, plums, cherries, almonds, peaches and apricots. The world's tallest grass, which has sometimes grown 130 feet or more, is bamboo. There are more than 700 species of plants that grow in the United States that have been identified as dangerous if eaten. Among them are some that are commonly favored by gardeners: buttercups, daffodils, lily of the valley, sweet peas, oleander, azalea, bleeding heart, delphinium, and rhododendron. Wheat is the world's most widely cultivated plant; grown on every continent except Antarctica. When a coffee seed is planted, it takes five years to yield consumable fruit. Willow bark, which provides the salicylic acid from which aspirin was originally synthesized, has been used as a pain remedy ever since the Greeks discovered its therapeutic power nearly 2,500 years ago. Wine grapes, oranges, figs and olives were first planted in North America by Father Junipero Sera in 1769.