Why humans love flowers? There is a simple fact that every people like the things which please them. Everyone loves flowers because of their unique beauty and enticing scents. When we hear the word ‘beautiful,’ flowers are the first thing that comes to our mind. There is also a difference in sizes from the most miniature flowers to the largest plants’ world. We’ve pulled together a list of ten smallest flowers in the world.
10 Thymus vulgaris
Thymus vulgaris is a woody-based flowering plant of the Lamiaceae family, commonly known as Thyme, originates from Southern Europe and has a worldwide distribution. It likes sunny areas and well-drained soil. Additionally, Thyme tolerates frost and drought. Moreover, people cultivated Thyme mainly as an ornamental plant and as spice today. In early summer, the plant will blossom with small, pink, or purple flowers arranged in clusters at the end of the branches.
Flowers of Thyme contain both stamens and pistil reproductive organs, and it is attractive to butterflies and honeybees, which are in charge of the pollination. It has evergreen, small, oval, and aromatic leaves, arranged in opposite pairs on the stem. It also has a thin, grey to green stem covered with hairs. The oil extracted from the leaves and even the flowers contain an antiseptic substance called thymol. It grows up to fifteen-thirty centimeters tall.
Propagation of these smallest flowers occurs through seed, plant cuttings, and parts of the root. Fruits of Thyme are tiny seeds, found abundantly. It readily invades rocks, dry walls, dry slopes, rough grassland and wasteland, stony banks, and woodlands in Mediterranean regions.
Luckily, dried Thyme is packed with vitamin C and is an excellent source of vitamin A also. Besides, it contains significant quantities of copper, fiber, iron, and manganese. They are very well at supporting the respiratory and immune systems and the nervous, digestive, and other body systems. People also used them in the garden as a groundcover. Generally, Thyme’s primary purpose is flavor foods, such as soups, bread, meat, cheese, and tea beverages. It can also survive for more than two years.
Lobelia is an herbaceous plant that belongs to the Campanulaceae family, originated from central and eastern Europe and western Asia. An erect annual or biennial plant that reaches about fifteen–hundred centimeters height. All species appear dissimilar from each other. However, every species has alternate and straightforward leaves with two-lipped tubular flowers, five lobes each.
Although Lobelia in blue is the most common color, the plant is available in various hues, including red, white, vibrant purples, and pastels of lavender or pink. Lobelia thrives in well-drained soil and full sun. The plant blooms well not only in cold weather but also in climates with sunny, cool summers. Their sweet nectar and bright colors attract several butterfly species. So, Lobelia is a better option for a butterfly garden or rock garden.
The hairy stem contains a milk-like sap. Flowering takes place from Jul to August. The persistent green calyx completely enclosed the capsule-like fruit, and this capsule contains numerous small capsules; the wind can easily blow these little seeds. People cultivated Lobelia as an ornamental plant.
Native Americans used this plant as a purgative and to treat respiratory and muscle disorders. Thus, every part of the plant that is above the ground is useful as medicinally. In some people, overdose can cause many significant toxic effects such as sweating, convulsions, vomiting, fast heartbeat, slight blood pressure, coma, collapse, and possibly death.
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8 Kenilworth ivy
Kenilworth ivy is a flowering vine that belongs to the Plantaginaceae family, also called Cymbalaria muralis. They originated from Mediterranean Europe. It can reach up to five centimeters height. The frost-tolerant plant will grow in cool-summer regions and sandy or clay type soils where it gets plenty of moisture. The evergreen, round scalloped leaves are alternately arranged on thin stems and range from an inch to two inches.
It has distinctly spurred flowers like miniature snapdragons with five petals, sepals, or tepals in flower. The blooming of small lilac flowers takes place from May to September.
Kenilworth ivy has an unusual propagation method. Indeed, it shows a peculiar phototropism. The charming flowers initially grow toward the light. Then, after the process of fertilization, it moves opposite from the light, pushing the seeds deep into crevices. Moreover, one of the most surprising factors of this vine is its self-fertile ability from its node-rooting stems, and sometimes bees also pollinated them. They also form a low-growing mat and their tentacles growing out from the center.
It can usually find on rocks, in meadows, gardens, roadsides, and the old and moist wall’s crevices. They have glabrous, globular capsule type fruit, which protrudes from the calyx and consists of some black, wrinkled, oblong, and crested seeds. They are prolific, as well as invasive plants. The smallest flowers are useful in a hanging basket or trailing over a bank and in a rock garden as a ground cover.
Forget-me-not is a genome of herbaceous plants belonging to the Boraginaceae family, originate from temperate parts of Eurasia and North America. It can also reach up to 12 inches in height and width, scientifically known as myosotis. It refers to the shape of leaves, which look like mice ears. Seventy-four species of these flowers are different from each other.
Forget-me-not has tiny, elliptical, hairy, and grayish-green leaves in a rosette at the stem’s base with blunt tips. Moreover, it has a tulip-shaped pod-like fruit filled with little seed. Most of them have small and flat flowers with five beautiful, thick, blue petals covered with white markings from the inside. These flowers are growing in rounded clusters on tightly coiled stems.
Some varieties of this popular springtime flower produce blue, pink, white, or yellow-colored blooms with a yellow center and measures one cm in diameter. Flowers attract moths, bees, flies, and butterflies, primary pollinators of this plant. Propagation of Forget-me-not takes place via seed, cuttings, and division of rhizome.
While the flower doesn’t have much fragrant during the day, but they emit a pleasant scent during the night. It grows as an annual or perennial plant, depending on the climate and species. Additionally, the smallest flowers propagate through seed. Forget-me-not represents true love, faithfulness, and remembrance. It is Alaska’s state flower since 1949. The whole plant has astringent and ophthalmic properties, and people used them in the preparation of lotions.
6 Baby’s breath
Baby’s breath is a group of annual and perennial herbaceous plants that belongs to the carnation family, the same as Caryophyllaceae. It has narrow, bluish-green, and lance-shaped leaves with numerous five-petalled tiny white or pink flowers that typically bloom on branching tall stems. The stems of baby’s breath separate into many branches, giving it an elegant misty effect in floral arrangements, rock gardens, and bouquets.
People used edible roots of the baby’s breath plant as a pharmaceutical ingredient and also used these smallest flowers as a cut flower. Gypsophila can reach the height size up to fifty centimeters. The places such as Australia, Eurasia, Africa, and the Pacific Islands are the native locations of baby’s breath.
They have the scientific name Gypsophila-derived from the Greek words’ gypsies’ and ‘Philos,’ meaning ‘gypsum’ and ‘loving’ respectively. They have rounded or oval-shaped capsules like fruit that open at valves, consisting of a kidney or a snail shell-shaped with several brown or black seeds.
Blooming occurs during spring and summer months. Some areas have designated the plant’s some species as an invasive weed. Baby’s breath propagates via seed. They tolerate full to partial sun and fertile, light soils, but good drainage is essential. Moreover, they don’t prefer dry conditions and also demand watered during dry periods for rapid growth.
5 Black swallow-wort
Black swallow-wort species is an herbaceous perennial in the Apocynaceae family, native to Europe. They reach one-two meters in length. The star-shaped flowers have five petals with white hairs, and the color ranges from dark purple to black. Flowers are measuring around .25 inches wide, and blooming occurs during June and July.
The vines have opposite and straightforward leaves on twining green stems. Black swallow-wort readily invades brushy areas, woodlands, riverbanks, gardens, fence rows, wooded edges, old fields, pastures, and roadsides. It grows rich in full sun and light shade.
The fruits are a slender and milkweed-like pod turning from green through light brown as they mature and pods open to discharge this flattened, rounded brown seeds with the silky filament at the tip. It has a fleshy root system along with a thickly budded rhizomatous crown. Chemical, manual, mechanical, and biological are the various methods designed to manage black swallow-wort.
The smallest flowers threaten species diversity and animal habitats. However, black swallow-wort can displace milkweed where the female monarchs lay their eggs that use as their larval food and reduce the populations of monarch butterflies. It also reduces the habitat of this flower. Thus, picking and destroying the pods before they open can reduce the spread of this invasive plant. They are either distasteful or toxic. So, insects avoid feeding on them.
4 Black medick
Black medick belongs to the member of the legume or clover family, which occurs in every continent. The low trailing annual, biennial, or short-lived perennial plant has three pinnately trifoliate leaflets. Mature plants measure from six to thirty-one inches in height. Bright yellow and tiny florets rounded to the slightly elongated cluster as many as fifty small flowers. Stems are usually prostrate, slender, angled, and branched with soft hair.
Small and kidney-shaped fruits formed in single pods that turn black when mature. Taproot and fibrous roots of black medick make them hard to pull. Blooming occurs from April to September. It likes full sun. We can find black medick mostly on compacted soil, roadsides, fields, lawns, waste areas. Nodules in roots are also hosting the nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
People used them to make honey and used as a fodder plant. Reproduction takes place from seed. The name of these smallest flowers comes from one of the genus name, Medicago. It grows rich in dry to moist, well-drained soils.
Alfalfa is a flowering plant, also called Lucerne, which belongs to the legume family Fabaceae. It can grow up to three feet in height. The plant’s leaves are alternate and scattered along the stem. Each cluster contains from ten to thirty-five purple flowers. They have a deep and robust root system. Alfalfa’s nitrogen source improves the soil and can protect from the soil erosion.
The rich source of nectar in these plants’ flowers attracts various insects, including bees, are primary pollinators of Alfalfa, which use this plant as a source of food and shelter. This plant contains high proteins, vitamins such as A, E, D, and K and rich in minerals, including phosphorus, zinc, folate, and manganese.
Alfalfa’s bloom occurs during the spring, summer, or fall, depending on the planting season. Humans sometimes ate slender stems and sprouted seeds. Alfalfa’s smooth or hairy fruit contains two to eight seeds: spirally coiled pods turning from green to brown.
People mainly used Alfalfa as an animal fodder. They are widely grown for hay, green manure, pasture, silage, and a cover crop. It can show high tolerance to heat, cold, and drought. Alfalfa used to help against arthritis, kidney, bladder, urinary tract infections, and prostate disorders. People also used these smallest flowers for the lowering of cholesterol. The lifespan of this plant even up to 20 years.
Bladderwort is a carnivorous aquatic plant that belongs to the Lentibulariaceae family. It can grow up to the size from 2 mm to 10 cm wide. We can find these smallest flowers on all continents except Antarctica. They mainly occur in lakes, streams, and in the flooded areas. Bladderwort species are terrestrial as well as aquatic plants. It has a long, horizontal floating stem, usually bearing simple or finely divided leaves. Also, it lacks roots. The limb either lays flat on the mud or floats freely on the water surface.
Dark green, reddish, or brown colored leaves of this plant bear bladders. The small, transparent, or dark-colored sacs of the plant designed to capture and digest tiny aquatic organisms such as flies, larvae of various insects, and worms. Due to their bladder-like trap system to catch the small prey, they got their name. Spherical capsule fruit of this most miniature flowers filled with numerous tiny seeds. Blooming occurs from July to August.
People mainly cultivated these smallest flowers for ornamental purposes such as aquariums, pots, and terrariums. We can find the bisexual and two-lipped flowers of bladderwort arranged in racemes on the top of the flowering stem.
The flowers consist of two sepals, two stamens, five fused petals, and a superior ovary. Self-pollination is also taking place in them. Additionally, its propagation takes place via seed and division of the stem. Bladderwort doesn’t provide food for other animals, but it gives shelter for various aquatic creatures and uses them to lay eggs. Some species can survive for up to two years.
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Water-meal is the world’s smallest flowering plant, also called Wolffia globosa. It is a duckweed plant from the Lemnaceae family. The plant itself averages one millimeter long. Additionally, they look like a tiny, green, or yellow-green and free-floating plant. It has no root structure. Each of these small flowers contains one stamen and one pistil. These surface-floating plants grow on the surface of ponds, streams, lakes, and marshes.
They can make the ponds unsightly and unusable. We can find these plants embedded with duckweed or mosquito fern colonies, and they draw their nutrients directly from the water. So, the reduction of oxygen can stress or kill fish.
People used them as camouflage cover for amphibians, fish, reptiles, etc. Its smallest fruit is known as utricle. Genetic engineers modify them to make low-cost pharmaceuticals such as vaccines. People also used these tiny flowers to make bioplastics because they contain around forty-four percent protein. Due to their easiness of propagation, we sometimes used them in cold-water aquaria.