April 18, 2024

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The world’s largest plant is three times larger than Manhattan

The world’s largest plant is three times larger than Manhattan

Tuesday, June 7, 2022 10:30 – The world’s largest plant has been discovered. It covers an area of ​​approximately 180 km2 and is at least 4,500 years old. Named Australian Poseidonia, the plant is native to much of Australia’s Shark Bay.


Manhattan Island three times

Not only is this plant unique in its size, it is estimated to be three times larger than Manhattan. It has twice as many chromosomes as its marine counterparts, making it a polyploid. These types of plants often live in extreme conditions and can continue to grow if not disturbed.

Researchers at the University of Western Australia and the University of Flinders in the coastal city of Adelaide are behind this colossal discovery. They estimate that this type of plant has a growth rate of about 35 centimeters per year. So it would have taken 4,500 years to reach its current size.

Poseidonia australis marine prairie in Shark Bay.  Photo by Zahira Bell, PhD graduate from UWA

Image Credit: Zahira Bell | University of Western Australia

Survive without reproduction

Scientists have set up a series of experiments in Shark Bay to see how the plant survives and thrives in such harsh conditions. In fact, it can withstand large variations in temperature, salinity and luminosity. These conditions are usually very stressful for most plants.

Another interesting fact: it is often infertile and survives despite no reproduction. Its survival for so long is amazing. This plant species has actually reduced genetic diversity, which is essential for coping with environmental changes.

Shark Bay Coast Poseidonia australis.  Photographer Rachel Austin, UWA (2)

Photo credit: Rachel Austin | University of Western Australia

Over the years, the plant has become home to many marine species such as dolphins, turtles, crabs and fish.

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With Information From the University of Western Australia.

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