Sunday, 18 December 2016

Wonders of Creation: Almost Impossible Giant Plants in New Zealand

Ross lilies (Bulbinella rossii). Image courtesy of Twiddleblatt, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Joel Kontinen

Ours is a planet where flora and fauna abound almost everywhere – in extreme cold and heat, and in the deep seas.

Campbell Island in New Zealand is home to plants that should not exist.

Recently, BBC Earth had an article on its flowers that defy the cold, wet and windy conditions on the island.

While temperatures seldom rise above 10 degrees Celcius (50 degrees Fahrenheit), the sun seldom shines and gusts blow at 30 km/h (19 m.p.h.), some plants grow to become really huge:

Amidst the fields of low shrubs and tussock grasses, giants stand tall. Some herbs rise up more than a metre, with leaves as large as a sheet of printer paper. Some species have hairy leaves, while flowers bloom in various colours from dark purple to pink to yellow-green. Scientists call these large herbs 'megaherbs'.”

Birds have intelligently designed features that help them to cope with freezing temperatures and hot weather.

We know that some begonias use a clever strategy to get more energy from the sun.

But what is news is that the Campbell Island flora also use an intelligent method to get more warmth from the sun.

They seem to make as much use of the rare sunny moments as possible. Botanist Lorna Little found that almost all “megaherb species had flowers and leaves that were between 4C and 10C warmer than air temperature.”

This shows that Earth was designed to be a habitable place, just like the Bible tells us.


Law, Yao-Hua. 2016. The sub-Antarctic islands are home to strange 'megaherbs' BBC Earth (16 December).