Have you ever thought about a plant that can consume its prey? How about a flower that blooms after three-thousand years? Recently, botanists have discovered new plant species possessing these weird characteristics.
Most of us thought that flowers and plants that are capable of blooming once after thousands of years exist only in childhood fairytales. Meanwhile, big plants capable of consuming their small prey are thought to be extinct. Fortunately, recent discoveries have validated the existence of these creatures. However, biologists have considered their population as endangered species due to the low existing numbers of their kind. Environmental changes and man-made activities are considered the primary reasons for the decline of their numbers.
The 38 pieces of very small white flowers measuring a diameter of 1mm was found by a Chinese farmer – Mr. Ding – growing in his steel pipes. Youtan Poluo is a legendary flower thought to exist only in the Buddhist scriptures. According to botanical experts, the flower only blooms once every 3000 years.
According to Indian Myth, the flower only blossoms when the Sage King of the future visits the present world. Youtan Poluo is translated in Sanskrit as “Udumbara” or “Udambara” flower. Similar phenomenon has occurred at Chonggye-sa Temple in Seoul when the flower blossomed on the Buddha statue’s forehead.
From the species of tropical flesh-eating pitcher plant, the nepenthes tenax has been spotted in the Northern Queensland, Australia. The Nepenthes Tenax can grow a maximum height of 100 cm with vines exceeding to 25 cm high. Nepenthes Tenax is regarded as exceptional specie of pitcher flower since others can only grow at a maximum height of 15 cm.
N. Tenax is last found only January this year by the ecologist, Charles Clarke, from James Cook University. The plant is found in the northern Cape York. Botanical archeologists believe that this flower can actually consume small rats, mice, lizards and even birds. Botanists predict that the flower will cost around hundreds of U.S dollars per piece if sold in the global black market.
The legendary flower, named Kadupul, is believed to be an offering of Celestial Nagas for Buddha after they bloom. Kadupul flowers emit strange fragrance as it blooms during midnight. Strangely, these flowers immediately die during dawn.
Seeing Kadupul flower blooms is a very rare experience among those that grow the flower. Kadupul flower is native to Sri Lankan lands but still, the blooming of the flowers has rarely been spotted even by the locals.
Silversword or Ahinahina Plant
The endangered plant since 1922, Ahinahina, exclusively grows only in the alpine regions of Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa and Haleakala. The tough skin of this plant is capable of enduring harsh weather conditions, especially snowy weather and intensive heat of the sun.
Image Source ; By LindiLindi (2007)
Ahinahina plant is currently being cultivated and protected from external threats due to their threatened population. According to the authorities of Haleakala National Park, silverswords have been endangered by extensive herding and vandalism.
Otherwise known as the Cape sundew, Drosera capensis is native to the land of South African cape. Cape Sundew is usually cultivated in the southern capes of Africa due to its insecticidal function. Sundew has its strap-like and beautifully colored tentacles that can grow to a length of 15 cm and 1 cm wide. These tentacles secrete sticky mucous substance called mucilage, which traps insects or other small preys.
After sensing the creature, the tentacles perform its predatory mechanism, called thigmotropism, in order to trap its prey. Afterwards, the plant digests the prey using its digestive glands. Sundews are now considered endangered due to the increasing temperature as well as the limited growing areas available for their kind.