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."
Fracking shame: Full threat to British wildlife is laid bare in a new report showing up to half the country could be licensed for shale gas extraction
Powerlines disturb animal habitats by appearing as disturbing flashes of UV light invisible to the human eye
Python eats croc: when two (or more) species go to war - the 12 most amazing animal battles ever recorded
The 10 best folding bikes
10 best hiking boots
- 1 Hells of residence: Inside Macedonia's horrifying student accommodation - where the walls are green and the food is black
- 2 Boy George: Bad karma
- 3 Rachel Canning: US teenager returns home after she tried to sue her parents for child support
- 4 First Kiss video: Filmmaker gets 20 strangers to make out on YouTube with awkward results
- 5 Rampaging elephant smashes up house but then 'saves crying baby trapped under debris'
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
No EU referendum under Labour: Ed Miliband to reveal that vote on membership is ‘unlikely’ in next Parliament if party wins power
Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
Fracking is turning the US into a bigger oil producer than Saudi Arabia
£1000 per month: Inspiring Interns: This company is one of the top two gaming ...
£20,000 to £30,000: IT Connections Ltd: Java Developer / Graduate / Web Develo...
£30,000 to £40,000: IT Connections Ltd: Java / J2EE Developer / Agile / Linux ...
£60000 - £90000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: A leading prov...