Record Breaking Plants
October 2, 2003 9:28 PM   Subscribe

Botanical Record-Breakers - learn about the world's most poisonous plants, the fastest growing, the most painful, the oldest, the ongoing debate about the largest, and much more. Also discussed is the rare coconut pearl - botanical jewel, or hoax?
posted by Jimbob (8 comments total)
That's some big fruit alright... er sumthin'.
posted by Witty at 11:48 PM on October 2, 2003

The castor bean plant looks so damn delicious. Who would have thought that the ricin from its seeds is 6,000 times more poisonous than cyanide, 12,000 times more poisonous than rattlesnake venom AND that it tastes like burning?

A bit of obscure trivia: The oldest, living grapevine is in Maribor, Slovenia, where it is creatively known as the stara trta or "old vine." It still produces wine every year, bottles of which have been sent to people like Clinton, the Pope and even Bloomberg. It's 400 years old, and so totally gnarly (literally) that it's a miracle the thing is still putting out.
posted by Ljubljana at 11:54 PM on October 2, 2003

Jimbob, did you recently see some reference to the coconut pearl? I happened across it a couple of days ago, I was curious if there was any truth to coconut milk being a replacement for blood plasma. I'm not absolutely sure why I was interested in this, or heard this bit of trivia, but I was playing Infocom's Trinity at the time and splitting a coconut is part of the solution to the game.

I'm trying to backpedal. I found a beautiful botanical encyclopedia online. Somehow I neglected to save it's bookmark.
posted by substrate at 5:14 AM on October 3, 2003

cool site, thanks Jimbob.
posted by alms at 8:03 AM on October 3, 2003

Great link, Jimbob. So much nifty info.
posted by lobakgo at 11:43 AM on October 3, 2003

If you live in the UK (or can play region 2 DVDs) then
you also might be excited to know that the BBC finally
released "the Private Life of Plants" on DVD.
(plus you also get The Living Planet and Life on Earth if you buy the box set) Amazing Stuff!
posted by milovoo at 2:19 PM on October 3, 2003

No substrate, the first I'd ever heard about coconut pearls was on this page - it was something totally new to me (and I'm a botanist!) Pretty cool, though.
posted by Jimbob at 3:29 PM on October 3, 2003

The site was mindblowing. 100-acre fungus. 30000 year old trees. Bacteria as large as a plant. Etcetera.

I'm reading The Blind Watchmaker by Dawkins. It's solidfying a lot of the ideas I've had over the past decade: namely, that life is inevitable and opportunistic. This site only further confirms it for me.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:52 PM on October 3, 2003

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