Our fascination with flowers is eternal. Their lovely scent and striking beauty are enticing. However, little do we know that these flowers have several hidden attributes? Many of the flowers like lotus have a historical or religious significance, while others have medicinal properties. For centuries, our ancestors knew this and utilized flowers beyond their visual appeal.
Their beauty and colors make them a perfect gift for all occasions. From birthdays, anniversaries to Father’s Day or Mother’s Day, flowers make their presence felt. In fact, for gifting flowers, you do not need an occasion at all. Just gift a bouquet and make the person feel special. We all find flowers beautiful; having said that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. Across the globe, you will find flowers that are weird or have exciting facts attached to them, of which we never knew. At times these sound stranger than fiction. Floraqueen takes you along to explore the fascinating world of flowers and gain a fresh perspective for these.
We often see flowers blossom, however scientifically it is the reproductive structure of the flowering plants. Flowers provide an eye-catching characteristic to a dull and green leaved plant. It’s the insects, birds or plants that steal their nectar and in the process pollinate the plants. In simple words, they move pollen from the male stamen to the female pistils.
Flowers, followed by the pollination, produce the fruit. It’s precisely the place where seeds are produced, making way for future plants. Various scientists are conducting a comprehensive assessment of the flowering plants. They are also trying to estimate the total number of flowering plants in the world. It reveals that there are nearly 400,000 flowering plant species with another 600,000 being removed from the list due to duplicity. Irrespective of the color range, the size and form of flowers represent an endless variety of combinations.
Flowers are exceptional gifts of nature for humanity. Here are a few strange facts and characteristics of flowers that are unknown to many of us.
The largest and the smallest
In Indonesia, rare flowers are found. One flower is called Rafflesia arnoldii. It has the world’s most massive bloom. These flowers found in the rainforest, can grow up to 3.3 feet and weigh up to 11 kilograms. The plant has no leaves, roots or stem. Being a parasitic plant, it gives a powerful and unpleasant odour similar to that of decaying flesh. It is also known as the corpse lily or the corpse flower amongst the locals.
On the other hand, there is a flower called watermeal or Wolffia globosa. You will find this flower all over the planet. The plant is oval in shape and bright green in color of the size of a grain of rice. These flowers are so small that it can even fit the head of the pin. The flower is in a slight depression right on the surface of the plant.
You may have seen this plant around you. However, you are not even aware that it also produces flowers. We are talking about bamboo, whose flowers are rarely seen. There are some species of this plant that flower once in 65 or even 120 years. If that was not mind-boggling, here’s more. The exciting thing about flowering in bamboos is that all plants of the same species develop flower at the same time, irrespective of their location on the globe. Bamboos are plants that are more environmentally friendly than the rest. It releases 305 more oxygen and absorbs more carbon dioxide than other plants. Decreasing the number of greenhouse gases, it cleans the air.
The sacred flower
Of all the flowers, the lotus is one flower that is considered sacred by many ancient civilizations, and it continues with the same status even today. In ancient Egypt, it was considered sacred and used in burial rituals. In India, China and Thailand, the lotus flower is used as an offering to the deity and considered auspicious. It forms an integral part of any religious ceremony.
The lotus flower blooms in damp wetlands and rivers. It may remain dormant for several years even, during times of drought. However, it rises again with the return of water. Probably that’s the reason why it is considered a symbol of resurrection and eternal life. Of course, the grace, purity and beauty of lotus flowers are for everyone to admire.
In the Bolivian mountains is found a rare species of giant bromeliad. At the height of 12,990 feet, Puya raimondii is genuinely a rare species. It was first discovered in 1870. It is the world’s slowest flowering plant. It flowers after a period of about 80 -150 years as a cluster of flowers on the plant. This cluster is a large vertical stalk or panicle with numerous flowers. Unfortunately once the plant blooms, it dies.
The most expensive
In 2006, the famed rose breeder David Austin created a flower worth $4.37 million. Called the Juliet rose, it was an apricot hued hybrid that took 15 years of hard work to create. In the Chelsea Flower Show in 2006, this flower took the floral world by surprise. The beauty, exclusivity and the price of this flower was one of its kind.
However, the credit of being the world’s most expensive flower is for some other kind. Shenzhen Nongke Orchid is the world’s most expensive flower ever sold in 2005. Priced at a staggering $200,000, this orchid bloom once every 4-5 years. The scientists took eight years to develop this delicate bloom.
Therefore, the next time you come across a flower in a floral shop or a garden, consider the fascinating facts behind the beauty and fragrance that makes the botanical world all so charming.