Mother Earth contains a vast biodiversity and most of it is completely unknown. Scientists say that we may probably never know many plants because of extinction. One of this incredible plants on earth and that many may have heard of are the “carnivorous plants” best name Venus Flytrap. This plant has an interesting mechanism of feeding, it consists in trapping between its leaves. The leaves are ultrasensitive to any movement on them and that is how it traps lazy insects that risk stopping on them.
The Bloodwood Tree
The bloodwood tree is Something out of a horror movie. Even the name sounds spooky, right? Well, that’s with good reason. If a branch is hacked off this tree, it oozes sap that is The consistency and color of human blood. Its crimson sap tries to seal it’s ‘wounds’, much like our own blood coagulates if we get cut. Native to southern Africa, local tribes believed the Blood of this tree had magical properties and is now used in modern medicine to treat malaria, ringworm, and scabies as well as increasing the supply of breast milk. It’s Wood is very easy to work with, makes great furniture (once you get rid of all the ´blood´), polishes nicely and shrinks very little when drying. This, along with its durability, makes it very valuable to the indigenous people of central and Southern Africa. These trees are being harvested at an unsustainable rate. The Bloodwood Tree grows to be a massive 12 to 18m tall, has an umbrella shape, and bears yellow flowers.
The Venus Flytrap
Probably the Most famous carnivorous plant, the Venus Flytrap has very efficient traps that can capture everything from insects to small frogs in its toothed leaves. The leaves are Covered in ultra sensitive fine hairs that snap shut once something touches them. The trap will shut in less than a second! When the insect or whatever it is gets trapped, the Leaves close tighter and tighter to squash it. The Venus Flytrap then releases mucus and enzymes to seal the trap and Digest its prey by dissolving it, creating an insect soup. Yum! If you don’t have one I highly recommend you get one! They are actually Pretty easy to take care of, just make sure you don’t feed it too often. The extra nutrients are good for it but they Can only close their jaws around 3-5 times before the bud dies off. Also, make sure they stay warm. In high school, I had an amazing collection with plants from all over the world. I think they are the coolest things ever!
Sequoiadendron giganteum is like their name suggests, Gigantic trees found only in one place on Earth, the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California. Almost as old as the dinosaurs, they have been traced back to The Triassic Period 200 million years ago. They’ve been in CA for at least 20 million years.
The Giant Forest, in Sequoia National Park, is home to half of the Earth’s largest and longest-living trees. General Sherman is considered the largest Giant Sequoia in the world. Sherman is about 2100 years old, weighs 2.7 million pounds, and is an incredible 275ft tall. It Takes 20 years for the Giant Sequoia to mature and produce cones which are dispersed by beetles, squirrels, or the wind! The incredibly thick bark of the Sequoia makes it Almost completely fire resistant and their cones will normally open immediately after a fire. The National Park Service holds Controlled fires to promote perfect growing conditions for the trees and eliminate competing species.
In the past, the Sequoia was logged extensively even though they were not very good for producing lumber and would usually smash to bits when they hit the ground.
Perhaps unfairly Labeled the world’s ugliest plant, this rare plant is only found in the desert of Namibia. While it’s not the prettiest thing to look at, it is truly unique. The Welwitschia is actually The world’s most resistant plant. It has a life span of 500 to 1500 years and can survive some extreme weather conditions. Its large, wide leaves protect it from the soil which can get over 149 degrees Fahrenheit! It only has two leaves which grow continuously at an average of 13.8cm per year. This could mean up to 150m of tissue growth over 1000 years! Its leaves are around 1.4cm thick and help Prevent sand erosion from uprooting the plant. The Namibian desert can have less than 100mm of rainfall a year, but this tough guy can survive up to 5 years with no rain! It’s secret is that it Captures moisture from sea fogs and long tap roots that search for underground water. The leaves often split due to being whipped about in high wind. Interestingly, Welwitschia Has separate male and female plants. The plant is said to be very tasty either raw or baked in hot ashes, and this is how it got its other name, Onyanga, which means onion of the desert.