Earth Day - Benefits of flowers to the earth

Posted on April 22 2018

Global warming. Air pollution. Thick industrial smog covering the azure skies. Harmful chemicals and gases thin out our ozone layer on a daily basis. Water pollution. Sea animals dying. Ice caps melting and water levels rising.

These are just some of the problems our planet face in modern times. Every day, we continue to pollute earth, every day our non-renewable resources are running low. Undoubtedly, we need to take action. Fast!

What is Earth Day and when is it celebrated?

Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd every year. This date marks the anniversary of a significant environmental movement, where people begin to realise that something must be done.

What is the purpose of Earth Day?

There is a demand for a sustainable environment, a fight against all kinds of man-made pollution and a prevention for the continuous loss of wilderness. Earth Day is proudly the biggest, most popular secular observance in the world. It is celebrated annually by over a billion people. It is a day of taking action against certain human behaviors, promoting environmentally friendly tasks and provoking policy changes.

Why are flowers important to the earth?

Flowers are a vital component of our ecosystem. Without them, there will be an inbalance, which in turn can cause a disturbance to other organisms. Not only can flowers help with the process of plant reproduction, they also feed animals and provide natural remedies for humans.

Four benefits of flower

1. Plant Reproduction

Flowers are a source of vibrant colours and beauty, which helps to entice pollinators, such as birds, insects and some bats. As the creatures dive low to extract nectar from the flowers, they inadvertently move pollen around from stamens (male part of the flower) to pistils (female part of the flower). This helps pollination. If the flower was merely a plain, green plant, it most likely would not have the ability to attract such animals for pollination. Some flowers take it one step further to attract certain pollinators. The bee orchid has evolved in a way so that it seems to take the form of a female bee. This attract male bees to them, and therefore allows them to successfully pollinate.

2. Food for Animals

Many different kinds of insects feast on nectar in flowers, including bees, ants and butterflies. Flowers like organ pipe, agave, and saguaro are a reliable food source for nectar and pollen-consuming bats. These plants are special in that they only allow their flowers to open at night, a convenience for the nocturnal bats. Other flowers have also evolved to appear more attractive to certain birds. For a hibiscus flower, the shape of its petals and the location of its stamen makes it easier for their nectar and pollen to be extracted by hummingbirds.

3. Food for Humans

Many flowers have been used in our food and in cooking for many, many years. Rose petals are commonly used in cooking for both sweet and savoury dishes, in jams and also in teas. Other flowers used in teas include chamomile, mint and ginger. The blossoms of some flowers also prove to be very flavoursome and useful herbs and spices in multiple dishes. These include sage, basil, chives, garlic, jasmine, and oregano.

4. Natural Medicines

In studies, it is found that certain flowers have unique medicinal properties. Begonia, a flowering plant, native to moist tropical and subtropical climates, are utilised in eliminating toxins from the body. Other flowers such as the calendula, sunflower and honeysuckle are effective in the treatment of sore throats and acute tonsillitis.

Flowers are a wealth of benefits to us, to animals, to other plants and to the environment. It is important that they are well looked after and preserved.

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