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Giants of Nature: Here are the Biggest Plants in the World

It’s unbelievable what magnificence nature produces. Here are the biggest, the highest, the most wonderful of what wildlife has to offer: sequoia trees in the world.

1) Poseidon’s ribbon weed, Australia

The seagrass Posidonia australis. RACHEL AUSTIN VIA UWA

The world’s largest living plant has been identified in the shallow waters off the coast of Western Australia, according to scientists.

The sprawling seagrass, a marine flowering plant known as Posidonia australis, stretches for more than 112 miles (180 kilometers) in Shark Bay, a wilderness area protected as a World Heritage site, said Elizabeth Sinclair, a senior research fellow at the School of Biological Sciences and Oceans Institute at The University of Western Australia.

That’s about the distance between San Diego and Los Angeles.

The plant is so large because it clones itself, creating genetically identical offshoots. This process is a way of reproducing that is rare in the animal kingdom although it happens in certain environmental conditions and occurs more often among some plants, fungi and bacteria.

3) Rafflesia Arnoldii, Indonesia

Found only in the forests of Sumatra and Borneo, the world’s largest single flower can reach a diameter of one meter (3 ft.) and has the brightly colored texture of octopus tentacles.

Unlike more sweetly-scented flowers, the rafflesia emits a rancid stench in order to attract insects that aid pollination.

As an endangered plant, great conservation efforts are being taken to protect this other-worldly flora.

4) Kauri Tree, New Zealand 

The Yakas Kauri, Waipoua Forest, New Zealand (Destination Northland photo)

This New Zealand mammoth tree is one of the widest in the world and Kauri forests are some of the most ancient.

Tane Mahuta, New Zealand’s largest Kauri is 51 meters (169 ft) high and has a circumference of 13.8 meters (45 ft).

Its name in Maori means “Lord of the Forest” and is estimated to be up to 2,500 years old.

5) Splendid Pitcher Plant, Borneo

A small frog climbs up a Nepenthes tentaculata (fringed pitcher plant), probably to lay eggs in it. This and a few other frog species have evolved immunity to the digestive liquids of the pitcher so that their tadpoles can develop inside them. These represent a rare resource: pooled water, which is not commonly found along the steep slopes of the mountain.

The largest of the pitcher plants, Nepenthes Edwardsiana, is only found in Malaysian Borneo and features a bulbous pitcher up to 50 cm (20 inches) in length.

Don’t be fooled by its exotic beauty—the splendid pitcher plant is one of thelargest carnivorous plants and uses rolled leaves to trick prey into falling into its liquid-filled trap.

Eating mostly insects, the plant is occasionally known to consume rats, frogs and lizards.

6) Flowering Talipot Palm, India 

Talipot palm flowering at KeralaIndia

Native to India and Sri Lanka, the Talipot Palm is one of the largest palm trees in the world and can reach heights of up to 25 meters (82 ft).

This beautiful palm also has the largest cluster of flowers on a single stem, which can reach 8 meters (26 ft) long.

Used to create palm leaf manuscripts, umbrellas, wine and thatched roofs, the Talipot only flowers once in its lifetime and dies shortly after.

7)  Corpse Flower, Sumatra

Similar to the Rafflesia and also endemic to the forests of Sumatra, the corpse flower (or titan arum) uses a putrefying smell to attract insects.

It takes its name from the smell as well as its deep red and purple coloring that mimics decomposing flesh.

It can reach up to 3 meters (10 ft.) and weigh as much as 50kg (110 lbs).

8) Coco de Mer, Seychelles

The Coco de Mer palm tree grows only on the Seychelles Islands in the Indian Ocean and is famous for bearing the “double coconut,” the world’s largest seed.

Thanks to its unique appearance, the Coco de Mer seed has many names: sea coconut, bum seed, love nut or Seychelles nut.

Baffled sailors once believed it came from a mythical tree at the bottom of the ocean and European nobles in the sixteenth century would have the shells polished and decorated with jewels.

Owing to its rarity, the seed is still highly prized today for collectors and Ayurvedic medicine practitioners.

9)  Giant Sequoia Tree, US

Also known as the Sierra Redwood, these amazingly tall trees occur naturally only on the west coast of the United States.

Growing as high as 85 meters (279 ft) and as wide as 8 meters (26 ft) in diameter, redwood trees and their forests are popular tourist attractionsthanks to their epic proportions.

The tallest and most famous of the redwoods, the General Sherman tree, is located in California’s Sequoia National Park and is believed to be over 2,000 years old.

10) Cardón Cactus, Mexico

When you picture a desert cactus you should know that the Cardón cactus is the king of them all.

Found mostly on Mexico’s Baja California peninsula, this giant cactus can live well over 300 years and grow up to 19 meters (62 ft).

Traditionally the fruit of the Cardón was eaten by native peoples in Mexico and it is thought that the flesh of the cactus can be used as a psychoactive drug for use in ritual.

11) Baobab Tree, Africa

Found across the savannahs of Africa, this unique tree has inspired many nicknames from bottle tree to upside-down tree to the Tree of Life.

Its sturdy, stout, fire resistant trunk can be as wide as 11 meters (36 ft) and often hollow, which provides living space for animals as well as humans—some trees have even been turned into barns or bars!

Known to be as many as 2,000 years old, baobab trees are thought to have mythical protective powers.

12) Pumpkins, North America

The largest pumpkin in the state of California weighs just over 2,000 pounds. The Guardian reported this year’s prize winner was grown by Leonardo Urena, who also earned first place in 2019, with a state record-breaking 2,175-pound pumpkin.

For something a bit more appetizing, the pumpkin is known as the world’s largest vegetable.

Thought to originate in North America, pumpkins are now cultivated all over the world for taste as well as size.

Weigh-off competitions are a popular festival activity and the current record was set in October 2010, with a Wisconsin giant pumpkin weighing in at 1,810 pounds (821kg).

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