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The lightning seeds.

A FLOWER which bursts open in half a millisecond has been hailed as the world's fastest moving plant after a special camera captured it in action.

Faster than a Venus Flytrap snapping shut, the bunchberry dogwood's acceleration is about 800 times the force astronauts go through on take-off.

The flower, common in swampy forests across America and famous for its sudden blooming, catapults its pollen up to be carried away by the wind.

Scientists from Williams College in Massachusetts told Nature magazine: "Our high-speed video observations show the flower opens in less than 0.5 of a millisecond, the fastest movement so far recorded in a plant."


OPENING TIME: The blooming of a bunchberry dogwood in less than half a millisecond as captured by scientists using a special video camera taking 10,000 frames every second
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 12, 2005
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