Plants aren’t usually thought of as very fast moving – they stay in one place, almost completely still, occasionally drooping over if you forget to water them. In some cases, however, plants can be amazingly quick; grabbing hold of insects, shooting out their seeds or spinning their leaves round to get a suntan.
Next in our series on the world’s fastest plants is…
Waterwheel plant | Across Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia
The waterwheel plant is an endangered carnivorous plant that lives underwater. The plant’s stem is covered in little traps and, much like with the venus flytrap, it’s the closure of these that makes the waterwheel plant super speedy.
When an unfortunate aquatic invertebrate floats into the waterwheel’s trap, the plant slams it shut in just 10-20 milliseconds. The plants have no roots, meaning they’re free to go with the flow, and have airsacks to help control their depth. The idea of a loose, meat-eating plant swimming around is enough to put anyone off paddling, but there’s no need to fear – waterwheel plants only reach 40cm long, the traps are very small and (as far as I know) they pose no danger to humans.