World's fastest plant explodes with pollen | Science News

SUPPORT SCIENCE NEWS

Science News is a nonprofit.

Help us keep you informed.


News

World's fastest plant explodes with pollen

By
10:13am, June 7, 2005

The fastest flower in the west, or anywhere else, is a woodland wildflower of North America called bunchberry dogwood, says a research team with a really fast camera.

A bunchberry dogwood (Cornus canadensis) bears flowers much like those of the beloved ornamental dogwood tree, but the entire bunchberry stands hardly knee high. Its tiny flowers span only a few millimeters and cluster at the center of four white, leaflike structures that casual observers mistake for petals.

Joan Edwards of Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., says that she started studying the flowers' pollen release after one of her students was examining some of them and exclaimed that something had "poofed."

A few botanists ha

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content