Flowers are often used to decorate homes, gardens, and to give as gifts! But what if we said that these bright and colourful blooms have an even bigger purpose in life? Flowers are used in foods, medicines, and dyes to name a few! Flowers are budding with so many interesting facts, so read on to learn 50 facts about flowers.
Fact 1: Flowers are the reproductive parts of a plant.
- There are 2 main reproductive parts of a flower: the ‘stamen’ and the ‘pistil’. The ‘stamen’ is the male part that produces pollen. The ‘pistil’ is the female part that houses the ovule. When these two meet, they produce a seed which creates a new plant.
Fact 2: Flowers have 2 parts: the ‘vegetative’ and the ‘reproductive’ or ‘sexual’ parts.
- The ‘vegetative’ part is the petals. The ‘sexual’ part is the one responsible for plant reproduction.
Fact 3: Flowers get their food from sunlight, water, and minerals.
- They make their own food by the process called ‘photosynthesis’.
Fact 4: Flowers like fertilizers, but they can’t live without sunlight and water.
- Fertilizers are only additives. They give additional nutrients and minerals to raise a healthy, glowing plant. However, fertilizers alone aren’t enough. Plants die without sunlight and water.
Fact 5: Many flowers look attractive to attract animals.
- These animals become vectors for the transfer of pollen. Pollination (or fertilization) takes place, resulting in the ovary developing into a fruit-containing seed.
Fact 6: ‘Pollinators’ are animals that transfer pollen from one flower to another.
- They gather pollen from one flower and drop it into the pistil of a different flower, this is how flowers cross-breed. But, some ‘pollinators’ visit flowers to feed themselves and to keep warm.
Fact 7: There are approximately 200,000 different species of animals around the world that act as ‘pollinators’.
- Of these, about 1,000 are vertebrates, such as birds, bats, and small mammals. The rest are invertebrates, including flies, beetles, butterflies, moths, and bees.
Fact 8: Animals pollinate approximately 75% of the plants grown for food, fibre, beverages, spices, and medicines.
- It has been calculated that 1 out of every 3 to 4 mouthfuls of food we eat and drink is delivered to us by ‘pollinators’.
Fact 9: The most important ‘pollinators’ worldwide are bees.
- Bees provide important pollination services for most terrestrial ecosystems worldwide.
Fact 10: Flowers first appeared about 130 million years ago during the Cretaceous period.
- Earth wasn’t beautifully adorned with flowers during its primal years. There were only ferns and cone-bearing trees. But once flowers took root on the planet, they swiftly diversified into an explosion of colourful and intriguing varieties.
Fact 11: Today, flowering plant species’ overshadow ferns and cone-bearing trees at a ratio of 20:1.
- These blooms outnumber their predecessors which had thrived for around 200 million years.
Fact 12: The first and oldest flowering plant to be discovered was the Montsechia.
- Montesechia is already extinct, but it was an aquatic plant that dated back to 130 million years ago. Monteschia was considered a ‘conifer’ and was discovered as a fossilized specimen in Spain in 2015.
Fact 13: The oldest living flower lineage is the Amborellaceae.
- Often described as a “living fossil”, Amborellaceae is a small woody plant that is native to New Caledonia in the South Pacific Island. It dates back to at least 130 million years ago.
Fact 14: There were approximately 400,000 types of flowering plant species’ in the world in 2010.
- The original count went as high as 600,000, but many plant names were deleted due to discoveries of duplicate species.
Fact 15: Tulips were once worth more than gold in Holland.
- It was during the Dutch Golden Age period when tulips were considered a rarity. Single bulbs of special tulip varieties cost more than 10x the annual income of someone in the middle class!
Fact 16: The “Tulip Mania” happened in Holland in the 17th century.
- The Dutch were able to produce large cultivation of tulips and the flowers became ever so in-demand then. In 1637, the tulip craze stopped just as quickly as it had begun.
Fact 17: Daffodil pins are worn in the UK to support the Marie Curie charity.
- Marie Curie is a charity set up in the UK to help people with terminal illnesses.
Fact 18: Tulips were cultivated in Turkey before they reached Europe.
- The tulip was discovered in the mountains of Kazakhstan. These flowers became a symbol of power and wealth. To express this, Sultan Suleyman the First wore a tulip on his turban and gave tulips to his important guests.
Fact 19: ‘Hydrangeas’ colour can be determined by the acidity of the soil it’s planted in.
- If the soil is too alkaline (pH of 7.0 or higher), the plant will bloom pink flowers. If it’s too acidic (pH of 5.5 or lower), it will result in blue Hydrangeas.
Fact 20: The name ‘Broccoli’ comes from the Italian plural of ‘broccolo’, meaning “the flowering crest of a cabbage”.
- Broccoli is an edible green plant in the cabbage family, whose large flower head is eaten as a vegetable.
Fact 21: Orchids are flowering plants that do not need soil to grow.
- Unlike most of your potted blooms, orchids live without soil. They get all of their nutrients from the air.
Fact 22: Colombia has the most orchid species in the world with 2,010 species.
- Orchids have been Colombia’s national flower since 1936 because of its beauty and grandness.
Fact 23: Sunflowers produce toxic substances that kill other plants around them.
- Although perceived as one of the cheery, bright species of flower, Sunflowers can prevent the growth of other plants. These deadly substances are allelopathic compounds. These chemicals inhibit the growth of plants in the area (but on the good side, they can keep the weeds down).
Fact 24: The Corpse flower (or the titan arum) is one of the most endangered flowers in the world.
- These flowers can only be found in the lowland rainfalls of Indonesia, as it relies on the Tetrastigma vine for survival. It has no roots, leaves, and stem, and its bloom period occurs only once every decade or so.
Fact 25: The Corpse flower is also the smelliest flower in the world!
- One of the reasons why they’re named as such because of its pungent odour that smells a lot like a rotting dead body. They attract flies, their preferred ‘pollinators’!
Fact 26: The Corpse flower is also labelled as the ugliest flower in the world.
- While flowers are usually considered to be pleasant, relaxing, and inspiring, the corpse flower is the exact opposite. They are considered the ugliest in the world due to their weird shape, large size, and unmistakable rotting smell.
Fact 27: The Rose is considered as the most beautiful flower of all.
- This pretty, pleasant-smelling flower symbolizes love, honour, faith, beauty, and passion. Roses are very easy to grow too.
Fact 28: Rose cultivation began around 500 B.C.
- Today, there are over 100 different species and 30,000 varieties of roses worldwide. They have quite a complicated yet interesting family tree.
Fact 29: The only 4-petaled roses are from the species ‘Rosa sericea’ plant.
- Naturally grown roses have 5 petals.
Fact 30: The ‘Puya raimondii’ is the largest flower in the world, it can grow up to 50 feet high.
- It is also known as the Queen of the Andes, ‘titanka’, or ‘puya de Raimondi’. It bears over 8,000 white flowers and is native to the high Andes of Bolivia and Peru.
Fact 31: The ‘Puya raimondii’ is also the slowest-flowering plant.
- The flower cluster emerges after about 80 to 150 years. Once the flower blossoms the plant dies.
Fact 32: Some flowering plants are carnivorous and eat bugs and small animals.
- One great example is the Venus Fly Trap. The plant has little hairs on its leaves that are used to alert the plant when a bug lands on it. The trap snaps shut quickly after an alert is raised and begins to digest the trapped bug.
Fact 33: When you touch a ‘Mimosa punica’, its leaves fold up.
- These sensitive plants will shy away when being touched. They have whitish-pink fuzzy flowers that look like little pom-poms.
Fact 34: The Bird of Paradise looks a lot like a colourful tropical bird, but it is actually a flower.
- It’s known as the ultimate symbol of paradise, joy, and freedom. Although birds of paradise are best known for their bright orange and blue colours, the flower can be white-only in colour.
Fact 35: The corkscrew vine is another oddly shaped flower that resembles nautilus shells.
- ‘Cochliasanthus Caracalla’, commonly called the corkscrew vine, is a leguminous vine from the family Fabaceae. It’s native to the tropical areas in South America and Central America. The species is named Caracalla, meaning snail.
Fact 36: The global sales for flower bouquets exported by country totalled $9 billion in 2018.
- The Netherlands is the top flower bouquet exporter worldwide. It produces $4.3 billion (47.8% of exported flower bouquets).
Fact 37: Rose, apples, pears, almonds, and cherries are related to each other – they belong to the same family!
- The family ‘Rosaceae’ is one of the most economically important crop plant families. It includes roses, apples, pears, quinces, medlars, loquats, almonds, peaches, apricots, plums, cherries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and sloes.
Fact 38: Missing an onion for that all-important meal? You can replace your onions with tulip bulbs to complete your recipe.
- Eating tulip bulbs was popular during the Dutch war. In fact, tulip bulb soup is a Dutch world war 2 recipe.
Fact 39: Chrysanthemums are considered “unlucky” plants in Malta.
- Malta has an abundance of flowering plants, but only chrysanthemums are labelled as unlucky ones. The only reason for this is because chrysanthemum flowers are associated with funerals in the area.
Fact 40: The lotus flower was considered a sacred flower by ancient Egyptians.
- The lotus thrives in rivers and damp wetlands. However, it may lie dormant for years during times of drought and rise again with the return of water. Egyptians viewed it as a symbol of resurrection and eternal life, hence they used lotus’ in burial rituals.
Fact 41: A cup of dandelion greens provides 7,000-13,000 International Units of vitamin A.
- Dandelions may look like weeds, but these flowers are packed with amazing nutrients! It contains vitamins A and C, calcium, potassium, and iron.
Fact 42: ‘Angelica’ or ‘wild celery’ was used in Europe for hundreds of years as a medicinal cure for the plague.
- The flower’s name was coined after an angel appeared to a monk in a dream and revealed to him that a plant would cure the plague, according to legend.
Fact 43: In mythology, Achilles was dipped head first in a bath of ‘yarrow tea’.
- ‘Yarrow’ was believed to be a plant with protective qualities. The flower is still known for its healing properties, and was also used in World War I to aid soldiers’ wounds.
Fact 44: You can ignite the vapour produced by ‘Gas Plants’.
- ‘Gas plants’ or the ‘burning bush’ give off a strong lemon scented vapour, that on a calm summer night can be ignited with a match.
Fact 45: Bamboo flowers are rarely seen. Some species of bamboo develop flowers after 65 or 120 years.
- This flowering cycle is genetically pre-programmed into each species. Once the bamboo has reached its life expectancy, it flowers and produces seeds.
Fact 46: The ‘Blue Cohosh’ was used by Native American women for labour and childbirth pains.
- Also called ‘squaw root’ or ‘papoose root’, these flowers have estrogenic and abortifacient properties.
Fact 47: ‘Agave’ is one of the few monocarpic plants.
- ‘Agave’, or the century plant, has an interesting life cycle: it spends many years without growing any flowers, then it grows 1 single bloom before it dies.
Fact 48: The ‘daffodil’ is one of Wales’ national symbols.
- The daffodil is a yellow-headed flower, that symbolises Dewi Sant or St David’s Day in Wales.
Fact 49: The ‘Shenzhen Nongke Orchid’ is the most expensive flower ever sold.
- These orchids bloom once every 4 to 5 years. One was sold at an auction for $200,000 in 2005.
Fact 50: The ‘Rainbow rose’ has 7 different colours.
- It has pink, blue, yellow, orange and green hues.