Happy National Plant Day! Here Are Some Crazy Plant Facts!

Happy National Plant Day! Here Are Some Crazy Plant Facts!


The plant world is a crazy place! For every rule that Ma Nature seems to make regarding plants, she turns around and breaks them, then twists them round to remake them…just to break them again! 

The dizzying diversity, incredible survival skills and adaptability, and the extreme lengths that the plant world goes through to compete are legendary!

Get ready to have your socks knocked off with these Crazy Plant Facts in honor of National Plant Day this March 12th!

Quick Plant Facts

If you think about it - plants are weird!

They eat sunlight, minerals, and carbon dioxide then poop oxygen and water vapor!

 four-leafed Clover

Botanists have identified over 300,000 species of plants and growing! So where can you find most of the plant life on our little planet?

  • 85% of all plant life on Earth is under the ocean!
  • 68% of plant species are unfortunately endangered
  • Of the 1,750 Cacti species, the Mistletoe Cactus is the only one found outside the US!

Plant Oddities

  • Scientists don’t know what causes four-leafed Clovers
  • Marigolds were used to treat hiccups
  • The caffeine in Coffee, the capsaicin in Hot Peppers, and the nicotine in Tobacco are actually the plants' version of pesticides in an attempt to keep things from eating them!
  • Plants prefer music that is between 115Hz and 250Hz, with jazz and Classical being their favorites!
  • Plants recognize siblings and help each other out
  • Feeling Stressed? Go mow your yard! Freshly cut grass emits green leaf volatiles into the air and scientists discovered these are great stress relievers! Ironically, the smell of freshly cut grass is actually a plant distress call.

Weird Plant History


The Tulip craze in the 1600s caused the Dutch economy to collapse because Tulip bulbs became as valuable as gold!

In the 19th century, the Tomato became the center of a U.S. Supreme Court lawsuit. At the time, the Port Authority of New York classified tomatoes as vegetables, which were subject to a 10 percent import tax. A fruit importing company argued that Tomatos were actually a fruit, which at that time wasn’t taxed. In botany, the Tomato is considered a fruit because it contains seeds. However, the court eventually ruled the Tomato was a vegetable and therefore taxable.

Hottest Plant!

The hottest plant is the smelly Corpse Flower (Titan arum) warming up to 98 degrees Fahrenheit (36.7 Celsius) when in bloom. It’s also the record holder for the tallest flower at 10 ft, 2.25 inches (just over 3 m) tall!


Tallest/Deepest Plants

  • Many Tallgrass Prairie Grass can grow roots 5 to 15 feet deep and survive fire and drought!
  • Elephant grass of Africa is so named because it can grow 14.76 (4.5 m.) high and Elephants hide in it.
  • The tallest Sunflower ever recorded was in Germany in 2016, measuring 9.17 meters (30 feet and 1 inch)!
  • The Dawsonia Superba is a large Moss growing to 23.6 inches tall and is the tallest Moss in the world. It is commonly found in New Zealand, Australia, and New Guinea.

The Oldest Plants

quaking aspen

  • A Seagrass colony in the Balearic Islands, Spain has been growing for 100,000 years!
  • ‘Pando’, a Quaking Aspen colony in Utah, is about 80,000 years old
  • California's White Mountains are home to a Bristlecone Pine called ‘Methuselah’ at 4,800+ years old, and another Bristlecone estimated at over 5,000 years of age! 
  • California also has a colony of Palmer’s Oak called ‘Jurupa Oak’ alive for 13,000 years. 
  • There’s Antarctic Moss estimated to be 5,5000 years old
  • Sweden is home to ‘Old Tjikko’ and ‘Old Rasmus’ Norway Spruces, both are over 9,500 years old!
  • There’s a Mojave Yucca estimated to be 12,000 years old

Back from the Dead

The oldest plant brought back from extinction is a fossilized Pleistocene-era flowering plant, Silene stenophylla. Native to Siberia, this type of Narrow-Leafed Campion had seeds that were found in the stomach of a fossilized Arctic Ground Squirrel estimated to be 32,000 years old and scientists got it to grow!

A Judean Date Palm tree thought to be extinct was regrown from seeds found in an ancient trash heap estimated to be 2,000 years old.

Slowest Plants

Saguaro Cactus

The Saguaro Cactus is among the slowest-growing plants in the world, only growing one inch each year.

The slowest-to-flower plant is the Puya raimondii which patiently waits 80-150 years before flowering, like the Century plant, this Bromeliad, unfortunately, dies as soon as its seeds are set. It makes up for taking its sweet time by also having one of the largest blooms! Its spectacular flowering spike reaches 30 feet to 49 feet (15 m) in height and is packed with 10,000 or more 2-inch white flowers!

A runner-up are some Corpse Flowers varieties, taking their sweet time to bloom every 8-20 years.

Fastest Plants

  • Bamboo is the fastest-growing plant - clocked at over 35 in (91 cm) per day!
  • With Duckweed (Wolffia) coming in at a close second.
  • The fastest plant to grow from seed is the Radish. The edible roots are ready to harvest in just 30 days, but the seeds germinate in as little as 3-4 days! This is the reason Radishes are used in scientific research and classroom experiments!
  • Giant Kelp can grow up to 2 feet (60 cm) per day!

The Biggest and the Smallest

water lily

  • Brown Seaweed/Kelp has some species able to reach almost 200 feet in length (60 m) and form entire underwater forests!
  • Speaking of Duckweed, or Water-Meal (Wolffia), it is the smallest plant in the world and also holds the record as having the smallest flowers in the world! 
  • The leaves of the giant Amazon Water Lily can grow 8 feet across, and a child can float on them! The Coccoloba gigantifolia of the Amazon has leaves that can reach 8 feet (2.5 meters) in length.
  • Epiphytic Orchids (Orchidaceae) have the world’s smallest seeds, they cannot be seen by the naked eye and are only 1/300th of an inch (85 micrometers) long!
  • The Talipot Palm has flowering panicles 16 feet long!

Hard Hats Needed

Don’t walk under these trees at the wrong time…

  • The longest pinecones come from the Sugar Pine, This ‘King of Pines’ can grow cones 22 inches (55 cm) in length. The tree itself can live up to 500 years!
  • The Jackfruit tree has the largest fruit, growing to a whopping size and growing right on the trunk. As of today, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the world's heaviest Jackfruit, was found in India weighing just over 94 lbs (42.72 kg) and was 22.5 inches (57.15 cm) long with a circumference of 52 inches (132.08 cm)!
  • In Seychelles in the Indian Ocean grows the Double Coconut Palm, or Coco-de-Mer (Lodoicea maldivica), also known as the largest seed in the world, weighing 55 lbs (25kg)!


Triple Record Holder

The Welwitschia mirabilis is a deep Namib Desert of Namibia that can be in the oldest plant category, deepest plant category, and weirdest plant category all on their own!

Welwitschia has an estimated lifespan of between 400-1,500 years, with some specimens carbon-dated to 2,000 years old. Only producing two leaves per century, and never shedding them, Welwitschia can grow its foliage to cover a 1,312-ft (400-m) area!

Because moisture is so rare in the desert, the Welwitschia can grow its taproot 98 feet deep (30 meters) deep! It’s regarded as a plant that never dies and its two leaves never stop growing!

Largest Smelliest Flowers

The largest flower award goes to the Rafflesia arnoldii, growing 3 feet across and weighing up to 15 pounds. It’s also a smelly flower and a parasitic plant! It doesn’t even bother growing leaves because it’s parasitic. The runner-up is the equally stinky Corpse Flower.

Most Expensive Plants

You won’t find these here at Nature Hills!

  • Bonsai Pine Trees have sold for up to $1,300,000
  • Shenzhen Nongke Orchids in China can put you back $217,000

Record Veggies


If you have ever gone to a State Fair, you’ll see some huge vegetables and prize-winning produce. You won’t believe the limits that the world of competitive vegetable growing pushes! Check out some of these enormous, record-holding veggies grown by gardeners recently!

  • Beni Meier broke the 1-Ton mark for his 2,323 lb Pumpkin
  • A 350.59 lb Watermelon was grown by Chris Kent
  • Peter Glazebrook holds the record for a 20 lb carrot
  • The largest/heaviest Tomato weighed in at 8 lbs 6.5 oz., grown by Dan MacCoy

Be Amazed By Plants!

The world of plants is truly amazing! So go outside on March 12th and marvel at the green world around you! Hug a tree (or better yet - plant one!), smell a Rose, and plant some Tulips to tiptoe through!

Don’t have enough plants, or want to buy your first green plant pet? Head over to NatureHills.com to start down the road to including more greenery in your home and landscape! Then check out our Garden Blog and #ProPlantTips for Care to learn more about the amazing world of plants!

Happy Planting!

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