Fun Facts about Plants
84% of a raw apple is water. A cucumber is 96% water. A notch in a tree will remain the same distance from the ground as the tree grows. A pineapple is a berry. Advertisements for coffee in London in 1657 claimed that the beverage was a cure for scurvy, gout and other ills. Almonds are the oldest, most widely cultivated and extensively used nuts in the world. Americans eat more bananas than any other fruit: a total of 11 billion a year. Until 1883, hemp was the world's largest agricultural crop, from which the majority of fabric, soap, paper, medicines, were produced. An apple tree is at its prime when its about 50 years old. The United States produces about 100 million barrels of apples a year. That's a lot of old trees. An arabica coffee tree can produce up to 12 pounds of coffee a year, depending on soil and climate. An average ear of corn has 800 kernels, arranged in 16 rows. Arrowroot, an antidote for poisoned arrows, is used as a thickener in cooking. Avocados have the highest calories of any fruit at 167 calories per hundred grams. Banana oil never saw a banana; it's made from petroleum. Bananas are actually herbs. Bananas die after fruiting, like all herbs do. Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew cannabis sativa (marijuana) on their plantations. Cranberries are one of just 3 major fruits native to North America. Blueberries and Concord grapes are the other two. Dr. Joel Poinsett, the 1st US ambassador to Mexico, brought the poinsettia to US in 1828. The plant, called "flower of the blessed night" in Mexico was renamed in Poinsett's honor. Eggplant is a member of the thistle family. From the 1500's to the 1700's, tobacco was prescribed by doctors to treat a variety of ailments including headaches, toothaches, arthritis and bad breath. Ginger has been clinically demonstrated to work twice as well as Dramamine for fighting motion sickness, with no side effects. Hydroponics is the technique by which plants are grown in water without soil. In 1865 opium was grown in the state of Virginia and a product was distilled from it that yielded 4 percent morphine. In 1867 it was grown in Tennessee: six years later it was cultivated in Kentucky. During these years opium, marijuana and cocaine could be purchased legally over the counter from any druggist. In 1924, Pope Urban VIII threatened to excommunicate snuff users. In 1932 James Markham obtained the 1st patent issued for a tree. The patent was for a peach tree. In Siberia, in 1994, a container full of marijuana was discovered in the 2,000-year-old grave of a Scythian princess and priestess, among the many other articles buried with her. In the Netherlands, in 1634, a collector paid 1,000 pounds of cheese, four oxen, eight pigs, 12 sheep, a bed, and a suit of clothes for a single bulb of the Viceroy tulip. Morphine was given its name in 1803 by the discoverer, a 20 year old German pharmacist named Friedrich Saturner. He named it after Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams. No species of wild plant produces a flower or blossom that is absolutely black, and so far, none has been developed artificially.