The Smallest Flowering Plant in the World
Flowers are wonderful creations scattered everywhere. They are produced by flowering plants which are known to be as the most diverse group of land plants. These are found to be beneficial to the environment and mankind.
Other than being responsible for the reproduction and promulgation of plants and crops, flowers and the plant itself also serve an essential role in filtering the air by removing the traces of carbon dioxide and toxins. Landscapes are enhanced by the bright and colourful blossoming patterns that are created by the plant’s leaves and flowers. This adds beauty and appeal to the wonderful and refreshing ambiance of the garden. Flowering plants are also a possible source of food. More people are using them for cooking purposes. Many flowers are also used for medicinal purposes due to their composition that helps in easing pain and aches.
The smallest flowering plant in the world is the Wolffia globosa, also known as the watermeal. The name water-meal was derived from the looks and the feel of the plant which is comparable to a small and mealy particle in the water. This is one of the duckweeds that is included to some 38 species of the smallest and the simplest flowering plants belonging to the plant family Lemnaceae.
Water-meals are oval shaped plants with striking bright green colours. The plant itself has an average dimension of 1/42 inches long and 1/85 inches wide. This is comparable to the size of a single piece of a candy-coloured sprinkle that is placed on top of the donuts. It can weigh at approximately 1/190,000 of an ounce which is more or less equivalent to two grains of table salt.
These flowering plants are so difficult to see. One would need approximately 5,000 pieces of these plants to fill a single thimble. However, since these plants grow in colonies, they may look like algae spreading across the water.
More detailed studies showed that this flowering plant is consist of only a single pistil and a single stamen. This plant produces the smallest fruit in the world which is known as the utricle. The plant has no stem, leaves or even roots. The plants’ absence of the roots allow for the easy and freely floating on the surface of the water where they can resemble corn meals.
These plants are commonly found in quiet freshwater lakes or marshes worldwide. They are known to have the fastest or most rapid rate when it comes to vegetative reproduction, thus it can completely cover a pond in just a few weeks time. Due to its easy and fast propagation, watermeal is sometimes used in cold water aquaria.
The Wolffia globosa or watermeal is said to be highly nutritious. It serves as foods for fish and waterfowls in nature. Moreover, it is occasionally cultivated for uses such as livestock use as feeds and even human cuisine as a vegetable.
Imagine the difficulty in trying to view the smallest flowering plant in the world, Wolffia globosa. Thanks to the advancements in the technology. With these innovations, more and more wonders are being discovered. These new discoveries only prove that the world is truly blessed with many natural resources waiting to be uncovered.