Bunchberry found to be fastest plant
Thursday 12 May 2005
Botanists have identified the fastest moving plant in the world - the bunchberry dogwood of North America.
Tests have shown that the petals of the plant's tiny flowers can move at 22 feet per second when they open with an explosive force. The bunchberry dogwood - Cornus canadensis - grows in dense carpets in the vast spruce-fir forests of the North American taiga. The petals explode open to launch pollen an inch into the air, a study at Williams College in Willisamstown, Massachusetts, showed.
The pollen is ejected to 10 times the height of the small plant so that it can be carried away on the wind.
The scientists say inNature: "Bunchberry stamens are like miniature medieval trebuchets - specialised catapults that maximise throwing distance by having the payload [pollen in the anther] attached to the throwing arm [filament] by a hinge or flexible strap."
Brazilian wandering spider: Where are they from and how deadly are they?
Government ‘allowing coal industry to get green subsidies’
Animal Extinction - the greatest threat to mankind
Saharan sun could provide energy for UK homes in £8bn plan to build 100 sq km solar farm - and a very long power cable
The 'vampire squid': RSPB attacked by other conservationists for 'misusing funds'
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo shot dead at war memorial
- 5 Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
£7200 - £36000 per annum: Randstad Education Nottingham: We are currently recr...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: TEACHING ASSISTANTS NEEDED FOR PLYMOU...
£50 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teaching Assistant EBD , Septemb...
£7 per hour: Randstad Education Cheshire: We are a large and successful recrui...