Compared to animals, plants may be seen as silent and motionless beings. However, this silence should not be thought of as a deficiency of biological functions. Plants are capable of very surprising behaviors, take special precautions to maintain their lives and have a variety of methods to continue their lineage by the special abilities bestowed on them by Allah.
Interesting Plants Created With Special Precautions to Adapt to Their Environment
The Most Resistant Plant in the World: Welwitschia Mirabilis
This plant that dwells in desert environments in Namibia is created with qualities very adaptive to conditions of drought. The stem of this plant, which consists of two leaves, a strong stem and a root, both gets longer and wider and reaches a height of two meters and a width of eight meters. This plant, which draws even the slightest moisture inside it through this stem, can live for five years with no rain.
A Reviving Plant: Elaginella lepidophylla
The Selaginella lepidophylla also known as “Erica’s rose” is also a desert plant. The interesting thing about this plant is that it can live with almost no water. This plant completely dries during times of drought and turns into a ball by tucking in its branches and leaves. However, when rains begin, it revives again by opening its branches and leaves and starts all of its vital functions again.
Plant That Looks Like a Baseball: Euphorbia obese
Even though the orb shape of this cactus species known as "euphorbia obese" makes it look like a baseball it is known for having the least amount of surface area, and it stores the greatest amount of water. The plant decreases water loss to a minimum and adapts to desert conditions with its thick trunk and orb-like shape. The poisonous juice of the plant is an effective substance that protects it from other beings.
This plant, which is shaped with a tiny deep greened hunch and decorated with eight tubes, is green like many other species of cactus, but it also has a very decorative appearance with its red and purple sections and the small flowers at the top. This plant is one of the best examples of Allah’s name, Al-Muzayyin (The Adorner).
As with all beings on earth, there is no doubt that Allah is the One Who places the necessary information inside the plants discussed here to adapt to their environments, creates all things and knows about all sorts of creation. Allah reveals this truth in one verse:
“Do you not see that Allah sends down water from the sky and then in the morning the earth is covered in green? Allah is All-Subtle, All-Aware.”(Surat al-Hajj, 63)
Plants That Develop Interesting Methods to Continue Their Lineage
The Biggest Flower of the World: Rafflesia Arnoldii
The flower of this plant, which is created for the climate conditions of rain forests, has a diameter of 90 centimeters and a weight of between seven to eleven kilograms. This biggest flower of the world draws insects to itself with the scent it secretes for the three to seven days that it stays alive. This plant, which blossoms only once in nine months, draws almost every insect to itself, spreads its pollens and continues its lineage in this way.
A Plant That Smells Like Ammonia: Amorphophallus Titanum
Amorphophallus titanum, which is taller than a man, is named as “titan arum” (carrion flower). Even though this plant, which has the tallest flower in the world, appears very elegant, it begins to spread a sharp smelling ammonia gas (NH3). The last structure of the plant is as interesting as the smell it spreads. The section, where the pollens are, is at the bottom of the leafy structure and it cannot be seen from outside. Therefore, spreading smells is not enough to attract insects’ attention. When pollens are ready to be fertilized, the flower warms the outer part of the flower with its smell. So the warming and smell, which takes place only during the morning times and within a day, is very attractive for insects. Scientists, who try to find an answer to the question of how this heat and smell appears, found that as a result of the acceleration in the plant’s metabolism, a special acid came into being. This substance called “glutanamic acid” is broken down chemically and spreads heat and odors. Thanks to this, insects come to the flower. However, this is not enough for insects. Because the pollen dust of amoorphophallus titanium is inside specialized sacs closed at the bottom, the flower is prepared for this. Due to its greased outer surface, insects fall into the flower and cannot climb up from the slippery walls. There is a sweet fluid produced by the flower’s female organs in this section. In addition, the pollen sacs open up at night, and the insects within are covered with these. Insects stay inside the flower all night long. In the morning, the thorns on the flower grow and act like a staircase for insects to climb up. Insects that climb up the staircase enter into another flower together with their pollen stock in order to accomplish their tasks as long as they are free.
As it is seen in these examples, Allah shows us His unique artistry in everything He creates and wants us to think about these things. This is told in many verses of the Qur’an:
“In the earth there are diverse regions side by side and gardens of grapes and cultivated fields, and palm-trees sharing one root and others with individual roots, all watered with the same water. And We make some things better to eat than others. There are Signs in that for people who use their intellect.”(Surat ar-Ra‘d, 4)
Plants That Visibly Move Really Fast
Mimosa pudica (pudica means "shy") has many different qualities from other plants. When it is touched or swung, the leaves unite and close. So the plant becomes “shy”, as it were. In one or two minutes, they re-open. The reason of the quick movement of this plant, which is common in South America and Central America, is its defense system. When the leaves of this plant are touched, leaves lean against the body together with the stem within a couple of seconds. If the disturbance on the plant continues, this time the mimosa makes a second move downwards and reveals the sharp thorns on its body. This is enough to scare off insects or predators. The mechanism that makes this movement begins with electrical currents. This current is just like the current that passes through the nervous system of the human body, though the reactions of the plant are not as fast as ours. Also, electrical signals transmitted through channels that carry the plant’s fluid travel a distance of 30 centimeters in one or two seconds. The higher the temperature, the faster the reaction is. The bottom of the leaf is swollen (where it is united with the plant’s stem). The cells here are filled with water. When the message reaches here, the bottom half of the swell in the leaf’s bottom suddenly lets go of its water and at the same time, the upper half takes this water inside and the leaf falls down. So as the message goes along the stems, the leaves close one after the other like dominoes. Following such a defensive movement, 20 minutes need to pass for the plant to re-fill its cells and open its leaves.
Plant Dancing With Sunlight: Desmodium gyransans
This plant known as the telegraph plant is one of the plant species that have sudden movement ability. The plant’s small lateral leaflets begin to pivot and make irregular movements under the slightest contact, sunlight, heat or vibration. During the night, its leaves flag down. The plant, the movements of which look like the Morse code system, and which take its name from these movements, moves with the swelling and shrinkage of motor cells in special organs buried deep inside the leaves. The movement of water molecules causes this swelling and shrinkage of the motor cells in the leaves. And plant leaves make a twitching movement when water enters in and goes out.
As it is seen, moving plants continue their existence with special systems created by Allah, as do all things that move. So they are under His control:
“Everything in the heavens and everything in the earth belongs to Him. Allah is the Rich Beyond Need, the Praiseworthy.”(Surat al-Hajj, 64)
Plants That Attract Attention With Interesting Shapes and Long Lives
Baobab Tree: Papaw
This tree, which resembles a bottle with its body that is wide at the bottom and narrow at the tops and which lives in Madagascar, can in many ways be compared to a bottle with the 300 liters of water it stores. This plant, which is resistant to both heat and drought, can live as long as 500 years.
The most interesting quality of this plant, which lives for about 950 years, is their red fluid seeping from the body when it is injured. Another quality that this red fluid has it that it contains iron, just as in human beings and animals.
Allah is the One Who plans every quality these plants possess and Who created these plants as He did everything in the universe. This truth is revealed in the Qur’an:
“The trees all bow down in prostration.“(Surat ar-Rahman Suresi, 6)
Plants With Interesting Qualities Are Examples of Allah’s Flawless Creation
Plants are special beings, which show the infinite knowledge, art, mercy and compassion of Allah Who created them with the photosynthesis systems that turn light into food, mechanisms that continuously produce energy and oxygen, cleans nature and balances the ecology as well as aesthetic features such as taste, smell and color.
Only 10,000 species of plants, which have unique systems for many special benefits, were examined up to now and as a result of these studies, it was found that every plant has characteristics that would amaze people.
For those who want to know Allah, witness His attributes, and get closer to Him, it would be very beneficial to look more closely at the miracles of creation in plants and even in a single leaf and thus know that their world is full of miracles. Believers can thus see the miracles Allah creates with the mind and reason Allah gave to them. A person who learns to look with an eye of reason and wisdom, would learn.
A person who learns to look at his surroundings with reason and wisdom will also learn all the systems that make the plant unique as well as the artistry in the plant’s color, shape and smell and closely witness Allah’s superior knowledge and might. Allah reveals His control over and creation of beings in one verse as such:
“That is Allah, your Lord. There is no god but Him, the Creator of everything. So worship Him. He is responsible for everything.” (Surat al-An’am, 102)
Plants are very impressive with their interesting shapes and life qualities. They form an exquisite beauty and variety with their interesting flowers, different shapes and the fact that they move in a visible way. These plants are only some of the examples of the perfection and glory in Allah’s Creation. Allah reveals that there are signs in the creation of both man and other beings and of His Existence, as such:
"And in your creation and all the creatures He has spread about there are Signs for people with certainty." (Surat al-Jathiyya, 4)
Plants, which have special abilities and characteristics since the first moment they were created, take inspiration only from Allah Who created them. He is the One Who gives them food, creates water for the maintenance of their life and grants interesting qualities and different designs to them. There is no doubt that all of these occur with His command to “Be”. For Allah Who creates all worlds, creating unique creatures is of course by His Will:
“It is Allah who created the seven heavens and of the earth the same number,the Command descending down through all of them,so that you might know that Allah has power over all things and that Allah encompasses all things in His knowledge.” (Surat at-Talaq, 12)