Flowers may be beautiful, but there’s much more to know about these colorful, fragrant blossoms. Here are fun facts about fabulous flowers just for kids.
When you think about flowers, what pops into your mind? You might picture the amazing array of colors that make blossoms so beguiling, from the purest white gardenia to the deepest purple hyacinth. Perhaps you imagine alluring fragrances, like the sweetness of blooming jasmine or the classic scent of tea roses. Or maybe you think about how bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds love to visit spring and summer blooms.
While flowers may be best known — and loved — for their gorgeous hues and scents, there’s so much more to these colorful plants than meets the eye. Read on to discover fascinating facts that show just how fabulous flowers really are.
World’s Tallest. The title of world’s tallest single flower goes to the Titan arum. This rainforest plant produces three-meter green and red blooms about once per decade. If you count flower stalks, the plant known as Queen of the Andes reaches even greater heights. Native to Peru, the Queen sends up a 10-meter-tall stalk covered with thousands of green flowers. In the wild, they don’t flower until they’re about 80 to 100 years old!
Tastiest Blossoms. Did you know that some flowers taste as good as they look? Edible blooms such as pansies, nasturtiums, violas, and violets make a colorful addition to a salad. Dandelions, rose hips, lavender, hibiscus, and calendula make delicious tea. And blossoms from many gourd plants, such as pumpkins and zucchini, taste great dipped in batter and fried.
World’s Largest. When it comes to blooms, the biggest is found in Indonesia. Known as Rafflesia arnoldii, these red-orange flowers can grow up to a meter across and weigh up to almost 7 kg. The flowers are also famous for their unpleasant smell, which resembles rotting meat and has resulted in the nickname “corpse flower.”
Slowest to Flower. If you’ve ever waited for flowers in your garden to bloom, you know how hard it is to be patient… now imagine waiting 100 years! A South American plant called turquoise puya only blooms when the temperature and humidity are just right. For the few specimens growing in the UK, that means that about once per century this rare plant produces 2-meter-tall turquoise and orange blossoms.
World’s Oldest. Fossils show that flowers have been around for millions of years. The oldest known flower was discovered in China. Called Nanjinganthus, scientists believe this ancient flower first grew about 174 million years ago. It had petals shaped like spoons and may have been a snack for dinosaurs.
Strange Shapes. Flowers grow in a range of shapes, some weirder than others. Many even look like animals: the corkscrew vine blooms with purple blossoms that resemble nautilus shells, the bird of paradise produces bright orange flowers that resemble origami cranes, and bee orchid has petals with fuzzy yellow and black edges. But strangest of all may just be the monkey face orchid. This rare South American flower’s markings look like the eyes, brows, nose, and beard of a cute little primate.
Flowers bring color, scent, and beauty into our lives. The next time you’re strolling through the garden, take a minute to make a few floral discoveries of your own!
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