There are tons of flowers across the world, but have you heard about the smallest flower in the world? Which is the smallest flower? It is watermeal. This article includes all the facts about the smallest flower.
1. Smallest Flower in the World: Wolffia globosa
Wolffia globosa otherwise known as water meal. They are aquatic plants belonging to the Lemnaceae family. The duckweed family consists of flowering plants and water meal is one of them. All the species of the genus Wolffia are quite small.
It can have a length of 1/42” and a width of 1/85”. Their weight and the size of the plant can be compared to a grain of salt or rice. They are hardly visible to the eyes and are tangible.
1.2. Plant Structure
Just like any other flowers they also have stamen and pistil. A water meal consists of only a single stamen and pistil. They don’t possess any root structure and appear as a greenish film on the surface of the water. They bear the world’s smallest fruit, which is known as utricle. Green or yellow-green is their observed colour. They have an uncanny resemblance to cornmeal.
1.3 Where to Find
Duckweed plants can be found in freshwater or marshes. They are found along with mosquito fern colonies. Nutrients are absorbed from the water for growth. Thus resulting in oxygen deficiency in water. Oxygen deficiency can harm many aquatic life like fish. They can make the lakes and ponds unsuitable for aquatic fauna.
The plant body consists of 44% protein, which makes them suitable for manufacturing bioplastics.
They are easily propagated. It is one of the reasons they are used in cold water aquaria.
Camouflage cover for fish and other aquatic animals.
Used for pharmaceutical purposes.
2. Other Small Flowers
Besides watermeal, many other flowers can be included in the list of the smallest flowers. Let’s discuss each of them.
These aquatic carnivorous plants can be found in lakes and streams. You can’t find them in Antarctica. They have a size of 2mm to 10cm. They lack a root system and have only stems with leaves. The leaves can be either simple or divided. The specialized structure or sac which is a part of the leaf is called the bladder. The bladder traps insects and aquatic larvae to satisfy the plant’s nutrient needs.
Used for ornamental purposes.
Lucerne is another name for Alfalfa. They belong to the Fabaceae family. The plant has a height of three feet and they have a well-developed root system. They have an alternate phyllotaxy. Like other legume plants, they can also enhance nitrogen content in the soil. The flower is formed in clusters and is purple. Each cluster will have more than ten flowers. They have hairy fruits. Their life span can range up to twenty years.
Alfalfa can serve as fodder for animals.
They have medicinal value.
Diseases like urinary tract infections, arthritis, and kidney problems can be treated using them.
2.3 Black Medick
They belong to the legume family. Plants can attain a height of 31 inches. They prefer moist and well-drained soil. The root system has fibrous roots along with taproots. The slender stems have minute hairs on them. Flower clusters are radiant yellow. Fruits are kidney-shaped. Nitrogen-fixing bacteria in root nodules improve soil quality.
Used as fodder
Used for making honey
2.4 Black Swallow-wort
These herbaceous plants belong to the Apocynaceae family. The plant can attain about 2 metres in height. Flowers are star-shaped and are purple to black coloured. The plant has opposite phyllotaxy. They require full sun and shade. Fruits are slender and turn colour from green to light brown. Insects prefer to avoid these plants as they are toxic.
2.5 Baby’s Breath
These herbaceous plants belong to the carnation family. They bear small white flowers. The stem can branch numerous times. Fruits are oval-shaped with a kidney-shaped seed. Their propagation is through seeds. They can’t accommodate dry weather so watering is needed. They thrive in both full sun and shade.
Roots are used for pharmaceutical purposes.
Used in bouquets.
2.6 Kenilworth Ivy
These invasive plants belong to the Plantaginaceae family. They are frost tolerant and prefer soil with moisture content. Their flowers resemble snapdragons. They exhibit special phototropism. Flowers usually grow towards the light but once fertilization completes flowers will turn away from light. They have capsule-shaped fruit formed from calyx.
Used in trailings.
Suitable for hanging baskets.
These herbaceous plants belong to the Campanulaceae family. They have an alternate phyllotaxy. The plant can attain a maximum of 100 centimetres. The stem is hairy and consists of a milky sap. They are commonly blue but other colours are also available. Lobelia prefers well-drained soil and full sun.
Used as an ornamental plant.
Used to treat respiratory disorders and muscle problems.
Overdose can be toxic.
The flowers are the reproductive structure of plants. They can be small or large. Despite their size, flowers have their attraction. Many flowers have medicinal values too. Wolffia, the smallest flower in the world are root-less, aquatic, flowering plants that float on the surface. Water meal can be propagated easily and because of this reason, they are used in aquariums. They are used in the pharmaceutical field too. There are other flowers which are included in the list of the smallest flowers besides watermeal.
1. Which is the smallest and largest flower in the world?
The smallest flower in the world is Wolffia whereas the largest is Rafflesia arnoldii.
2. What is the smallest plant ever?
Wolffia is the world’s smallest flowering plant. They are aquatic and belong to the family of duckweeds. Duckweed plants can be found in freshwater or marshes.
3. Is Wolffia rare?
All the species of the genus Wolffia are quite small. They are not rare but their blooms are rarely found as they are unsightable.
4. What is the biggest flower?
The biggest flower is Rafflesia arnoldii. They are found in Indonesia and are considered rare. Their width can range up to 3 feet. They weigh almost 15 pounds.