Cosmos plant varietal types are very diverse. They vary from tropical to temperate and even arctic climates. Some of them have been cultivated for centuries, while others were discovered only recently. These plants are used in many different ways including food, medicine, fuel and even as ornamental flowers. You will learn about these fascinating plants in this article: Cosmos Plant Varietal Types: Learn About Types Of Cosmos Plants.

The variety of Cosmos plant species is so vast that it would take an encyclopedia to list all of their names. There are over 200 known species, but there may be other unknown ones out there. The genus name “cosmos” comes from the Greek word cos meaning earth or world and meros which means wild. All of these plants belong to the same family (Cyperaceae) and they share a common ancestor that lived some 400 million years ago during the Cambrian Period. The most famous member of this group is the modern day “Carnivora”, which includes cows, pigs, sheep and goats.

In order to understand how Cosmos plant varieties differ from each other, it helps to first look at what makes up a typical Carnivore. A carnivore eats meat and blood; its diet consists mainly of animals such as cattle, deer, boar and wolves. They do not eat insects or fruits because they lack the taste buds for those foods. Carnivorous plants get their nutrients from insects and other small, live prey. They kill and digest their meals with a juice that is secreted from tiny holes in their leaves and stems.

Some of the most common types of carnivorous plants are butterworts, pitcher plants, sundews and Venus Flytraps. Carnivorous plants are not always easy to spot because they look like ordinary flowers or leaves until they start trapping and eating bugs.

Butterworts have a pitfall trap. Pitfall traps are holes in the ground that the prey falls into. These plants are one of the simplest types of carnivorous plants. They get their name from the buttery color of their leaves, which is caused by the amount of white oil covers its leaves. This oil protects them from getting waterlogged and rotting.

The butterwort, also known as the pennywort, lives in wet forests all around the world. It can be found in almost every corner of Australia and is the national plant of Croatia.

The butterwort’s leaves look like little green coins, with a circle of tiny hairs around the edge. Carnivorous plants have two kinds of hairs, one to catch prey and one to absorb vital nutrients from its victims. The butterwort’s hair traps insects by curling around them like hands. They slowly digest the bug and use it as food. They can also absorb nutrients from rotting matter and animals.

Pitcher plants are the second most well known carnivorous plant. Pitcher plants are named after the deep cups that they produce. These cups collect water and small insects that slip and fall in. The prey is then dissolved by enzymes and acids in the bottom of the cup, which can take several days to several weeks.

The most famous pitcher plants are the Nepenthes genus, which is native to Southeast Asia. They get their name from the Greek word for “foolish”, because many people used to think that the pitchers were too fragile to be of any use.

A third type of carnivorous plant is known as a sundew. It gets this name from the way that its leaves look like dew on spider webs. It is covered with fine droplets of water and glistens in the sun. This plant has tiny hairs that grow on the ends of each leaf. They trap insects by using two methods.

The first one is like flypaper; the hairs are covered in a sticky glue-like liquid. The second one is like a knot that traps the prey when they bump into it. The insect will struggle to escape but will just get tighter and tighter.

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The sundew is able to absorb the nutrients from its prey.

The most well known species of sundew is the “Devil’s Cigarette Lighter”. It is native to the bogs and swamps of northern Europe.

Another type of carnivorous plant is called a Venus Flytrap. Native only to North and South Carolina in the United States, it grows in poor, bogsgy soil and gets its name from how quick it snaps shut on its prey. It looks like a regular plant, with seven reddish leaves shaped like stars. The edges of the leaves are lined with small tentacles that secrete sweet nectar and capture insects.

When an insect is caught, it triggers a series of actions within the leaves that cause them to close quickly and securely around the prey. Once closed, they produce a bug-killing juice that flows from glands in the tentacles. They digestive enzymes in the juice turn the insect into a nutrient-rich slush, which can then be absorbed through the leaves.

The largest species of venus flytrap is called the “Greater Bladder-plant”. It is native to the bogs and swamps of North and South Carolina and can reach up to 1.5 meters in diameter and weigh up to 5 kilograms.

In addition to these types, there are many more carnivorous plants. Some of them eat smaller insects, some larger animals and some even small mammals like rats and shrews. Many have their own trapping mechanisms. For example, the “Pitcher Plant” has a sweet smelling nectar at the bottom of its leaf that attracts insects to crawl inside to feed. Once it is inside, it is unable to climb back out and eventually falls into a pool of digestive juice at the bottom, where it slowly dies and is absorbed as nutrients.

There are hundreds of types of carnivorous plants, each with their own trapping mechanism.

The “Poison Oak” is a shrub that grows in North America. It has three shiny evergreen leaves that are arranged like clasped hands. They have serrated edges and smooth surfaces. In the center of each of the three leaves is a single small tooth or projection. The entire plant is covered with a fine fur.

When touched, an allergic reaction occurs in humans that causes an intense skin irritation wherever it makes contact. The irritation occurs in the form of red itchy patches and small blisters.

The rash usually lasts for two to three weeks, during which time you should stay away from the plant. Any clothing or gear that has come into contact with the plant should be thoroughly cleaned or disposed of. It takes about twenty-four hours for the rash to appear, and another two to three weeks to disappear completely. In some people, the rash can become more serious, causing fever and a general sick feeling.

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The rash resulting from contact with poison oak is caused by an allergic reaction to an oil the plant releases. Many people who suffer a reaction may find they are also allergic to related plants, such as the cashew or mango.

The very best way to prevent this is to not get the oil on your skin in the first place. If you are in an area known to have poison oak, avoid touching any plants. If you are not sure whether a plant has this oil on its surface, do not touch it. Do not try to burn the plant, as the oil can remain on the plant long after it has been burnt.

After skin contact, one of the most effective ways to prevent allergic reaction is to wash the oil off immediately. Though hot water will help dissolve the oil, it will also increase the irritation. The best way to wash off the oil is with cold water. Strong detergents or solvents are not necessary or helpful – plain water will dissolve about 40% of the oil. Soap will help only slightly and will not be absorbed into the skin.

It is important to get rid of the oil as soon as possible because it is absorbed very quickly. If you have a supply of water, then washing immediately will prevent any reaction within six hours in 90% of people. After this time, even if you wash, it is still possible to suffer a reaction.

If water is in short supply, or if the oil was allowed to remain on the skin for longer than six hours, then bathing will not clear it from your system quickly enough and a reaction is almost certain. In this case, taking an antihistamine such as benadryl can prevent the allergic reaction from developing.

Sources & references used in this article:

Incompatibility in Cosmos bipinnatus by LK Crowe – Heredity, 1954 – nature.com

The chemical cure of climatic lesions by JF Bonner – Engineering and Science, 1957 – calteches.library.caltech.edu

Close encounters of the small kind: adverse effects of man-made materials interfacing with the nano-cosmos of biological systems by AA Shvedova, VE Kagan… – Annual review of …, 2010 – annualreviews.org

Reduced Expression of CbUFO Is Associated with the Phenotype of a Flower-Defective Cosmos bipinnatus by F Li, W Lan, Q Zhou, B Liu, F Chen, S Zhang… – International journal of …, 2019 – mdpi.com

Genetic gains in grain yield through genomic selection in eight bi‐parental maize populations under drought stress by Y Beyene, K Semagn, S Mugo, A Tarekegne… – Crop …, 2015 – Wiley Online Library

The human place in the cosmos by B Greene – 2004 – Knopf

The passage to cosmos: Alexander von Humboldt and the shaping of America by M Scheler – 2009 – books.google.com

Changes in sugars during petal senescence in cut flowers of Cosmos bipinnatus. by LD Walls – 2009 – books.google.com

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