Smallest Flower in the World

small-flower.png

“God only lets things grow until they're perfect and some of the things don’t take as long as the others!”

Flowers whether big or small are extremely endearing. They are synonymous with happiness and contentment. Flowers in all shapes and colors are the highlights of all occasions. Flowers are not just used for decorative purposes but also in cooking. Dishes made from flowers are a true delight to the tongue and flowers like roses, lavenders, hibiscus, Borage, pinks, chives, etc. have been accentuating world cuisines for thousands of years.

The world’s smallest official flower is Wolffia globosa. It is also referred to as watermeal and misidentified as duckweed. Wolffia Globosa is actually one of the duckweeds in the family Lemnaceae that comprises 38 species of the smallest and simplest flowering plants. The flowering plant itself grows out to be 1/42” long and 1/85” wide or about the size of one candy sprinkle. It takes about 5,000 of these astonishingly petite flowers to fill a ferrule. Woffia sometimes grows in colonies that form a dense-looking mat on sheltered waters.

Each Wolffia flower contains a single pistil and stamen. It also produces the world’s smallest fruit, known as a utricle. These plants are only found in quiet freshwater lakes or marshes in all over the world. These plants have no roots and this is why they can easily float on the surface of the water, where they bear a resemblance to cornmeal.

Wolffia flowers are made up of about 40% protein, about the same as the soybean, making them a potential high-protein human food source. They are highly nutritious and it is because of this that they are used as food for fishes such as tilapia, aquatic birds and ducks in nature. These petite flowers are also occasionally cultivated for use as livestock feed. It’s eaten as a vegetable in Burma, Laos and Thailand and known to have first been recorded in New Zealand by Ruth Mason.

These flowers are green or yellowish-green in color and can be identified under the microscope due to their extremely small sizes.

 

According to the International Lemna Association (ILA), this small plant and its species could help our planet in a big way. Other than being used as for ducks, fishes and aquatic birds, it can also be used in the diets of chickens, pigs, and cattle. The nonprofit organization that is dedicated to promoting duckweed as a fast-growing and sustainable crop believes that water-meal has other potential commercial applications too.  It could be a source of renewable and sustainable fuel to replace fossil fuels.

Flowers are found in abundance in nature but not all the flowers are equally important and used for commercial and industrial purposes. Some flowers which are used for decorative purposes and for gifting to other are easily available online. So, don’t waste any more time and send flowers to Delhi to your loved ones.