Flowers have become so embedded in our lifestyle that we fail to see its extraordinary aspects. More than being an ornament or a gift from a special someone during special occasions, a flower is also a magnificent living thing. Here are the top eight bits of trivia and information about flowers that you probably don’t know.
1. The Titan Arum is considered to be the world’s largest tropical flower. Commonly seen in Sumatran rainforests in Indonesia, the Titan Arum grows as high as three metres. It is also known as the “corpse flower” because it smells like rotting flesh. In contrast, the smallest flowering plant is the Wolffia Globosa. It is commonly known as the Asian watermeal and measures 0.1 to 0.2 millimeter in diameter.
2. If you think you have seen most of the flower species in the world just by touring a flower shop, you are wrong. According to the most recent study by botanists around the world, there are over 400,000 species of flowering plants in the world and the number is still growing!
3. Flowers are not only used as ornaments. They can also be eaten! Most blossoms of the squash and pumpkin plants can be fried or included as ingredient to viands. In some restaurants in Asia, rose petals are tossed up in salads. Chamomile and Jasmine, on the other hand, are used to make sumptuous tea.
4. Flowers are also sources of vitamins and nutrition. For example, Dandelions are low in saturated fat and are very low in cholesterol. They are also rich source of calcium, iron, and potassium, vitamins A and C. Contrary to popular belief, the highly nutritious Broccoli is a flower, not a vegetable.
5. During the 1600s, Tulips are considered to be more valuable than gold in Holland. They are used as a currency for trade. The Tulip is considered to be a symbol of love, life and immortality.
6. The Middlemist Red Camellia is considered to be one of the rarest flowers in the world. There are only two of this species that exist today, the one in the Duke of Devonshire’s conservatory at Chiswick, London and the other in Waitangi, New Zealand. The origin of the Middlemist Red Camellia can be traced to China.
7. The Interflora flower service is considered to be the world’s largest flower delivery network. It is comprised of more than 50,000 florists around the world who cater to more than 150 countries including USA, Australia and Singapore.
8. Flowering plants can also be used for cleaning toxic pollution. This is called phytoremediation. It is a process where in plants are utilized as agent to extract certain elements within their ecosystem. Highly developed countries such as Singapore also use this method. After the deadly Chernobyl nuclear explosion in Ukraine, sunflowers were used to extract toxic elements such as arsenic, lead and uranium from the soil.