Apocalypse Flowers: which ones will survive?

by Charlotte.Barnes on January 25, 2012

apocalypse earthAccording to the Mayan calendar, the world is going to enter a new phase on December 21st, 2012. Some believe this means entering a new era of existence for humankind, while others believe it will come in the form of a good old-fashioned apocalypse. The internet rumour-mill has got Interflora thinking about which plants and flowers might survive the end of the world, so we’ve put together a list of our best contenders.

{Photo credit – Sebastian Kaulitzki}

Ice Age Survivor – Snowdrops

Believe it or not, the humble snowdrop is a tough little flower and has rightfully earned its place on this list. When snow falls across the UK, most flowers stay tucked up nice and warm in the earth as seeds, but not the snowdrop. This small white flower starts to grow and eventually pushes its way through the snow to reach the sunlight and fresh air. Not many other flowers can claim the same determination in the face of freezing conditions.

snowdrop in snow{Colin Purrington}

Desert Survivor – Cactus

Star of many a Western movie and one of the oddest looking plants on earth, the Cactus wins hands down when it comes to dry conditions. Surviving on very little water, cacti use the spikes growing on their skin to absorb the tiniest amount of moisture from the air and then store it inside their cylindrical bodies for later use. When you’re lost in a post-apocalyptic desert, you’ll want as many cactuses as possible to be around so you can tap that all-important water reserve when you need it most.

cactus plant{Jason Vasquez}

Underwater Survivor – Anubias

Some believe global warming will melt our ice caps and flood the earth, which would pretty much end most of life on the planet. If you happen to survive, you will probably be kept company by the Anubias – a plant that can survive completely underwater. Unlike some other aquatic plants, the Anubias can even flower underwater, so at least you’ll have something pleasant to look at while you’re learning how to dive for your supper!

anubias plant in water{Planted Tanks}

Hurricane Survivor – Yucca

With wind speeds of 20mph or more, the Coachella Valley in Colorado is certainly one of the breeziest places on earth. In the wake of some of Earth’s fiercest hurricanes, not many plants survive the onslaught. Except the yucca of course, thanks to some of the strongest natural fibres around forming their leaves. With deep roots and bendy bodies, the yucca can withstand wind speed that would snap other plants in half.

Yuuca plant{Stan Shebs}

Extreme Height Survivor – Allium

If some great natural disaster wipes out most of the plant life on Earth, our biggest worry will be lack of fresh air. This, however, is not a problem for the allium which grows on the highest mountain in the world; Mt. Everest. Although you’re unlikely to find an allium right next to the flag planted at the summit, allium flowers do grow in this harsh climate and are now cultivated across the globe.

allium flower{Chantelle516}

Total Eclipse Survivor – Indian Ghost Plant

This strange-looking plant grows mostly in the temperate regions of Asia, North America and northern South America and, unlike most plants, does not contain chlorophyll. The Ghost Plant, also known as the Corpse Plant, is parasitic and gets its energy from certain fungi and photosynthetic trees. Since it does not need sunlight to grow, it can flourish in very dark environments with limited natural light.

ghost plant corpse plant{Randy Sutherland}

The ‘Will Outlive Us All’ Survivor – Bristlecone Pine

These incredible trees can chalk up an impressive amount of years that would put any centenarian to shame. Growing predominantly in the southeast of the United States, these trees can grow to 15 metres tall and have an orange-yellow trunk. The oldest of these trees on record is named ‘Methuselah’ and is an amazing 4,843 years old as of 2012. That’s more than sixty times more than someone living in the UK can expect to live to.

Bristlecone Pine{IvyMike}

And finally, let’s remember those beautiful flowers that might not make it past December 2012:

Rarest

The Middlemist’s Red is the rarest flower on earth and it is currently believed that there are only two specimens left in the world; one at the Duke of Devonshire’s conservatory at Chiswick in west London, and one in Waitangi, New Zealand. Originally from China, this rose-coloured camellia was brought to London in 1804 by John Middlemist, who gave it to Kew Gardens.

Middlemists Red{Clare Kendall}


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Charlotte Barnes

Post category: Flowers, Knowledge, Other Flowers  

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