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."
Dolphins ‘deliberately get high’ on puffer fish nerve toxins by carefully chewing and passing them around
A spotter's guide to a wild orchid summer
Climate change: Six major energy companies write to United Nations to request help in setting up carbon pricing scheme
New posters available for supporters of World Environment Day
Animal Extinction - the greatest threat to mankind
- 3 Alton Towers crash: Four seriously injured and 16 guests trapped as Smiler ride carriages collide
- 4 Ann Summers survey reveals the UK's favourite sex position
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers
£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a solutions / s...
£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you inspired to bring new a...
£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...