Rafflesia Arnoldii – Largest flower is parasite

Rafflesia Arnoldii - Bengkulu - 21-April-2015Rafflesia Arnoldii - Lake-Maninjau - Sumatra-Indonesia - 1-09-99Rafflesia ArnoldiiModel of Rafflesia flower - Lee Kong Chian - Natural History Museum Singapore - 08-08-2015

Rafflesia Arnoldii – Largest flower is parasite

Rafflesia Arnoldii – Rafflesia arnoldii, is the largest individual flower on Earth. It doesn’t have its own stems, leaves or roots. Parasites on vines of the Cissus genus, related to the vine. Deriving water and nutrients from the hosts. Rafflesia grows in a thicket of tropical jungles in Borneo and Sumatra.
It reaches a weight of 11 kg and a diameter of one meter. It consists of five fleshy, red, white speckled petals. Inside, it finds a few liters of nectar, and spike-like creations with an unknown function.
Rafflesia emit a specific, bad smell to rotten meat. In this way it attracts pollinating beetles and flies. That’s why the people of Indonesia call it a corpse flower. It blooms for 5-7 days, every few years. However, if pollinated, it produces round fruit. Containing thousands of tiny seeds.

Kilauea – United States of America, Hawaii

Dark Ash Plume Rising from Overlook Crater - 15.05.2018Entering the top of the volcanoKīlauea - USGS multimedia fileCaldera of Kīlauea with Halemaumau craterHalema'uma'u crater and Kīlauea calderaKīlauea Caldera and Mauna LoaKīlauea caldera - Hawaii Volcanoes National ParkKīlauea - Eruptions in last 200 yearsLava hits the Pacific Ocean - Hawaii - 2005Kīlauea - Crater of volcano on HawaiiExplosion at Halema'uma'u crater

 
 

Kilauea – United States of America, Hawaii

 

  • Location: United States of America, Hawaii
  • Szczyt: 1247 m a. s. l.

 
Kilauea is located on the Hawaiian island of Hawai’i (also known as Big Island) and is one of the volcanoes that form it. It occupies 14% of this island. The mountain, on the slope of which the lava flows, belongs to the most active volcanoes in the world. According to the Hawaiian history, it spits out lava uninterruptedly since 1983, an average of 400,000 m³ per day. The volcano was created as a result of tectonic movements of the Pacific plate. Which in 70 million years resulted in the creation of a chain of 6,000 km long submarine volcanoes.

The testimonies of the first eruptions come from 1750. However, we learn from the Polynesian myth that the mountain spit out lava much earlier. The lava flows covered the area of ​​hundreds of square kilometers and affected the appearance of the whole coast line. The indigenous islanders believe that Pele, the goddess of fire, lives on the mountain. Goddess punishes anyone who dares to steal volcanic stones. Being for her like children. A thief of such a stone can expect bad luck that will never leave him.

Locals, to the honor of the goddess Pele, perform ritual dances. According to tradition, they throw flowers and food into the volcano crater, which is to give them favor.

Colchicum autumnale – Protected and very poisonous

Colchicum autumnale - Jena, Germany (16-09-2007)Colchicum autumnale (1)Colchicum autumnale (2)Colchicum autumnale (3)

Colchicum autumnale – Protected and very poisonous

Colchicum autumnale – It belongs to protected as well as very poisonous plants.

  • Deadly dose: 20 – 40 mg (5 – 10 seeds)
  • Death: to 4 days
  • Poison: colchicine
  • Aftermath: paralysis, pulmonary edema, renal failure
  • Where it grows: Southern and Western Europe
  • Occurrence in Poland: yes

One flower contains more than 20 alkaloids, the most dangerous of which is colchicine and its derivatives. Thanks to the appropriate dosage, they can be used for treatments of cancers. Medicinal products for rheumatism, ascites and kidney diseases are produced from wintering seeds. However, if you carelessly handle (for example when confusing with wild garlic leaves), poisoning may occur. Fowl and goat’s milk may also be dangerous. The first symptoms of taking harmful substances appear after 2 – 6 hours after ingestion. At the beginning you can observe mouth burning, vomiting or cramps. Without proper help, a man can die.

Oleander – Nerium oleander

Oleander - Nerium oleander (1)Oleander - Nerium oleander (2)Oleander - Nerium oleander (3)

Oleander – Nerium oleander

Oleander – Nerium oleander – This beautifully blooming shrub belongs to the most common plants not only in the countries of the Mediterranean.

  • Deadly dose: 2 leaves
  • Death: in few hours
  • Poison: oleander
  • Aftermath: cardiac arrhythmia
  • Where it grows: from the Mediterranean, through North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, to southern Asia
  • Occurrence in Poland: artificially bred

In order to say goodbye to your life, it’s enough to chew on one leaf. The honey obtained from oleander flowers may also be toxic. The first signs of intoxication include vomiting, fever and dizziness. The substance directly attacks the heart and increases muscle tone.

History of the plant:
Together with Conium maculatum was the most popular medieval poison. It was used as a means to control rats and mice. In the past, many people lost their lives because they roasted meat on oleander branches.

Aconitum napellus – One of the most poisonous plants

Aconitum napellusAconitum napellus (2)Aconitum napellus (3)

Aconitum napellus – One of the most poisonous plants

Aconitum napellus – One of the most poisonous plants.

  • Deadly dose: 3 – 5 mg
  • Death: in few hours
  • Poison: aconitine
  • Aftermath: heart and respiratory paralysis
  • Where it grows: in Western Europe and eastern North America
  • Occurrence in Poland: yes

All parts of this dark blue plant contain aconitine. The flower should not be touched (the poison is so strong that it can penetrate the body by applying a leaf to the skin). Poisoning does not occur often, mostly because the man has mistaken the root of the plant with horseradish or other root vegetables. Ingestion causes mouth burning, salivation, vomiting and fluctuations in blood pressure. In medicine, a tuber of aconite is used that reduces temperature in limited doses.

History of the plant:
In the Middle Ages it was used to poison swords and arrowheads. Teutons used venom during magical shamanic rituals, it was also a component of fairy ointments.

Amorphophallus titanum – Comes from Indonesia

Amorphophallus titanum - Amorphophallus titanum Nov20_2005

Amorphophallus titanum – Comes from Indonesia

Amorphophallus titanum – The plant reaches an average height of 1.5 m. Record holder measured up to 3 m. Amorphophallus is open-pollinated plant, which needs to dust the pollen to another plant of the same species. It comes from Indonesia. It likes warm, moist and airy space. The smell of amorphophallus resembles a mix of odors: dead fish, garbage, sweat and decaying carcasses. Botanical Gardens compete in the cultivating of these plants, whose unusual beauty lasts only three days, and the strong odor persists only for 8 – 12 hours. Although the plant is called “corpse flower” is not exactly a flower. With the underground tubers, which provides plant nutrients and water, inflorescence stems shaped flask.