“Plants give us oxygen for the lungs and for the soul.” — Linda Solegato.
Plants are living beings with a definite life cycle, just like human beings. Our planet is home to almost 8.7 million different species of plants (1). Children across ages find plants fascinating and show interest to know about their journey on Earth. As a parent, you can nurture their inquisitive minds by sharing some fun and captivating plant facts with them.
In this post, we tell you some exciting plant facts that you can share with your children and awaken their curiosity.
55 Plant Facts For Children
- It may sound astonishing, but the oceans sustain about 85% of plant life!
- Before trees came into existence, Earth was home to fungi (giant mushrooms) that were 26-feet tall.
- Grass makes up a whopping 26% of the total plant life on the planet.
- Plants may appear deaf, but they can feel, see, smell, and remember. Try talking to one today and see if they respond.
- Are all living beings made up of only living cells? Well, no! An average tree consists of 99% dead cells. Its leaves, root tips, and phloem are the only parts with living cells.
- Plants identify their siblings and give them preferential treatment by competing less for valuable resources.
- Did you know that trees are among the oldest living organisms on Earth? Yet, the average life expectancy of a street tree in an urban city is seven to ten years only!
- Brazil, the biodiversity champion, is home to approximately 55,000 plant species, which is equivalent to 22% of the world’s total
- It is believed that there are more trees on Earth than there are stars in the Milky Way.
- The rain falling on the canopy of trees in a tropical rain forest takes about ten minutes to reach the ground.
- Did you know that before the 16th century, carrots were purple, white, or yellow? The orange carrot came into existence in the 17th century.
- Onions add flavor and texture to food, but did you know that eating a lot of onions can make you feel sleepy? Well, onions contain high amounts of the L-tryptophan amino acid, which acts as a natural sedative.
- The next time you eat a salad, remember that 90% of the foods humans eat come from just 30 plant species!
- Botanically, tomato, green beans, eggplant, avocado, pumpkin, and cucumber are fruits, whereas rhubarb and corn are vegetables.
- Apples look rosy-pink, and so do plums, cherries, peaches, and apricot. But did you know all these fruits belong to the rose family?
- Out of more than 400,000 plant species known to humans, we eat only about 200 plant species.
- Plants have medicinal properties, but did you know only one percent of rainforest plants have been studied for their medicinal potential?
- The “Bird of Paradise” is a beautiful, oddly shaped plant that resembles a colorful tropical bird.
- The willow trees are termed problematic, but in the history of medicine, they are celebrated to provide medicines for fever and body ache through their bark!
- Bamboos are evergreen, perennial flowering plants that grow fast. But how fast? On average, bamboo can grow 35in in a single day.
- Caffeine stimulates the brain in humans, but surprisingly, it also serves as a pesticide for the coffee
- If white sugar is sweet, corn is sweeter! One bushel (25kg) of corn can sweeten more than 400 cans of pop.
- During the 17th century, tulips were more expensive than gold! In Holland, their worth led to “tulip mania” that caused the Dutch economy’s crash at one time.
- The baobab tree found in Africa can store up to 120,000l of water in its swollen trunk!
- A notch in a tree will stay the same distance from the ground as the tree grows. Astounding, isn’t it?
- An average size tree can provide enough wood to make 170,100 pencils!
- A large tree can consume 100 gallons of water from the ground and discharge it into the air as oxygen and water vapor in a single day.
- The California redwoods (coast redwoods and giant sequoias) are some of the tallest and largest living organisms globally!
- Most people think of the showy colored parts of poinsettias as the flowers, but they are actually colored bracts (modified leaves).
- Rafflesia arnoldii, found in the rain forests of Indonesia, is the world’s largest flower. It can grow more than three feet across.
- The dwarf willow, also known as the Salix Herbacea, grows only two inches in height, and hence, is known as the tiniest tree globally.
- Pine cones have genders. A male pine cone sheds pollen, and the female pine cone makes seeds.
- The world’s most important, life-saving medicines are derived from rain forest plants.
- Arrowroot, one of the most commonly used thickening agents in cooking, is considered an antidote to certain plant poisons.
- Our planet loses tropical forestland equivalent to the size of Bangladesh is every year.
- Forest resources are the source of livelihood for nearly 1.6 billion people on Earth.
- One-third of the plant life on the island of Socotra near Yemen can’t be found anywhere else on Earth. It is known as the “most alien-looking place on Earth.”
- Figs are not always considered vegan. When pollinated by a fig-wasp, the fig’s inward-facing flowers trap the wasp, and the enzymes digest the corpse into the fig.
- The heaviest single organism in the world, a tree called “Quaking Aspen,” weighs 6,000,000kg. It makes an entire forest, covering 43.6ha (108ac.) in Utah!
- The water meal (Wolffia globosa) is the world’s smallest flowering plant. It is the size of a grain of rice and bears the world’s smallest fruit.
- The Alnwick Garden in England is full of venomous plants and narcotic plants such as marijuana, coca, and opium poppies.
- Nepenthes palawanensis, one of the giant carnivorous plants on the planet, was discovered in the Philippines in 2009. The plant is capable of trapping rodents, lizards, and rats.
- An Australian plant, Gympie, can sting and cause unbearable pain lasting for months and years.
- The Rainbow Eucalyptus tree features a multi-colored bark with streaks of blue, orange, and maroon, pale green, red, and gray, creating a “rainbow effect” that is a feast for the eyes.
- Apart from their aesthetic appeal, trees can reduce noise by absorbing or scattering the sound waves.
- The Sandbox tree bears large, capsule-like fruiting bodies that explode at, scattering the seeds at a speed of up to 70m per second and up to a distance of 100m.
- A single tree, on average, produces approximately 260lb of oxygen per year. It means that two mature trees can supply enough oxygen annually to support a family of four.
- The gas plant Dictamnus produces a clear gas on humid, warm nights and is ignitable with a lit match.
- Apart from revealing a tree’s age, tree rings can also tell about past climate changes and volcanic eruptions.
- Some trees, such as willow trees, have the ability to communicate with each other. When attacked by webworms, they release certain chemicals to alert other willows.
- Trees can live long, but how long? An oak tree can live up to 1,000 years.
- Recent research indicates there is a living tree older than 5,000 years in the bristlecone pine forest of the White Mountains in Nevada, the US.
- The Elephant grass found in Africa is named so as it is 4.5m high, and even elephants can hide in it.
- Around 80% of the flowers in the Australian rainforests are not found anywhere else in the world.
- Since the start of human civilization, about 11,700 years ago, the total number of trees on Earth has fallen by around 46%.
Plants are an essential part of human life. Understanding their origin, evolution, and versatility can be enlightening for children. Sharing plant facts with your child can help them become more compassionate and responsible for one of the most vulnerable natural resources.
2. Fun Plant Facts (really, they are fun, I promise); Smith College
3. 9 Rainforest Facts Everyone Should Know; The Rain forest Alliance
4. Fun Facts About Trees; International Society of Arboriculture
5. Interesting Facts On Rainforests; Space Radiation Lab At California Institute of Technology
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