World records are all about superlatives, which means there are world records for just about anything that goes further than the rest. But in today’s article, we are not discussing any marvel feats by humans. Rather, we are going to discuss something we rely on. We all know that human life is greatly dependent on trees and nature. From tallest to oldest and fastest-growing to most dangerous, here are some amazing world records held by plants.
World Records Held by Plants
Plants are one of the most important necessities of human life. We must all love and care for Mother Nature which is protecting us in its cradle. To appreciate these greenish fellows, here is the list of world records held by plants.
Most dangerous Tree
The manchineel tree (Hippomane Mancinella), found along Florida’s Everglades and the Caribbean coast, holds the scary title of the world’s most dangerous tree. It’s also called Poison Guava, and all of its parts are toxic. Smoke from the burning wood can cause blindness, and the tree’s sweetly-scented fruit – misleadingly called “beach apples” – are also poisonous, causing internal swelling, ulceration, and hemorrhaging.
The world’s most remote tree is a Sitka spruce – a species indigenous to the Northern Hemisphere – in Antarctica, allegedly planted by the governor of New Zealand in 1901 and the only tree for 222 kilometers (138 miles) around. Before that, the record was held by an acacia in the Niger desert; known as the Tree of Ténéré, it was downed when a drunk driver hit the only tree around for 400 kilometers (250 miles).
The world’s oldest living tree is a bristlecone pine in the White Mountains of eastern California. Methuselah, as it is aptly named, is proved to be more than 4,850 years old; one of its cousins in Nevada, cut down in 1963, was found to be 5,200 years old and the oldest known tree ever recorded.
The world’s tallest tree, estimated at up to 800 years old, rises to 116 meters (more than 380 feet) at last check. The researcher that found the record-setting sequoia christened it Hyperion for one of the Titans of myth, but conservationists fear such noble names only encourage undesired (and eventually harmful) attention. The tree’s location in California’s Redwood National Park remains a strictly guarded secret.
The Most Expensive Plant
Gingerly, lovingly shaped, and nourished, bonsai trees are tiny works of art trained to resemble their full-grown, wild counterparts. Some can live to a thousand years old, and their age and ability obtain notable money at auction. A centuries-old white pine, which sold in 2011 for 100 million yen (about US$920K today) may be the most expensive plant sold at auction, though a juniper bonsai sold in 1981 is reputed to have got twice as much.
The palm tree that holds the world’s biggest and heaviest seed can be found on just two islands in Seychelles. There are only 8,000 mature coco de mer palms (Lodoicea maldivica) left in the wild, all strictly guarded to protect the seeds – which can measure a half meter (1.6 feet) across and weigh a whopping 25 kilos (55 lbs.) – from poachers.
The world’s smallest seed is produced by a jewel orchid, Anoectochilus imitans, measuring just 0.05 millimeters long (0.002 inches). The terrestrial orchid, which grows on a few islands in the Southwest Pacific, relies on the wind to spread its dust-like seeds far and wide.
The title of world’s hottest pepper is owned by the aptly-named Carolina Reaper. The pepper is so spicy that it lists just below police-grade pepper spray, measuring 2.2 million on the Scoville Scale – suggesting it would take 2.2 million cups of sugar water to dilute the spicy out of a cup of Reaper.
Cotton seeds were among six seed species taken to the moon’s surface by the Chinese Chang’e-4 lunar lander in 2019, part of an experiment to build a self-sustaining biosphere. The cotton seeds were the only ones to successfully grow, earning them a place in the record books, but died after a week of cold nighttime temperatures.