Scientists are conducting groundbreaking research into the potential of watermeal, the world's smallest flowering plant, as a source of nutrition and oxygen for astronauts.
- Watermeal is an aquatic plant in the Araceae family.
- It is the smallest flowering plant in the world and appears assmall green seeds.
- It is often referred to as "duckweed" because it is a favorite food of ducks.
- It flourishes in temperate, sub-tropical, and tropical locations.
- They grow on the surface of lakes, ponds, and marshes.
- It is a very tiny (less than 1 millimeter) light green, free-floating, rootless plant.
- It is branchless and also has no leaves.
- It consists of a single, oval, or spherical frond that floats on the surface of still or slow-moving water bodies.
- It also produces the world’s smallest fruit, called a utricle.
- It is a nutritional powerhouse. It is a complete protein, meaning that it contains all nine essential amino acids.
- In some cases, watermeal can become invasive and form dense mats that cover the entire surface of a water body.
Q1: What is an invasive species?
An invasive species is an organism that is not indigenous, or native, to a particular area. Invasive species can cause great economic and environmental harm to the new area.