When we think of plants, we often imagine slow or still living things that just stay there, but there are some fastest-growing plants in the world around us. Yes, while it may be true that many trees take decades to reach maturity, and to start producing fruits, we overlook the fact that many green plants grow constantly. Yes, some plants can show measurable growth with a few hours. That means if you measure them now, and then do so again in a few hours there will be an appreciable difference.
In this post, we give you the top 10 fastest growing plants that exist on planet earth. If you want to know this, then you are in the right place. Sit back, relax, and enjoy.
Top 10 Fastest-Growing Plants In The World
Bamboo is the undisputed champion of quick growth! It grows incredibly fast, and that has gained it quite a reputation with ecologists, and scientists researching sustainable, eco-friendly products. Not just is bamboo incredibly quick to grow, it is also the dominant plant species when it comes to colonizing an area.
One successfully replanted bamboo stalk will produce a shoot upwards, and a spreading root structure under the ground as well. The spreading root structure allows one rootstock to produce several shoots, within a short there is not one but many bamboo stalks, literally taking over the area, driving out competing plants. The fastest-growing bamboo has been found to grow at up to 35 inches per day! That’s champion stuff right there! Plant evolution at its finest. However, you could traditionally find bamboo that would grow 10 centimeters per day! If you actually had the patience to sit there all day, you would see the growth within 24 hours. Amazing!
2. Hybrid Poplar
The poplar is a tall, fast-growing tree in the temperate regions. This particular kind of poplar is known for producing good shade. Let us also not forget the fact that they are very quick growing trees; only taking about five years to reach harvestable height. Without a doubt, poplars are a favorite in the logging industry. The wood is also very good and has several applications in construction and industry. Hybrid poplars can grow up to ten feet a year, and is not a natural species; it was created artificially as a quick growing tree to re-grow forests that have been harvested for lumber. They also have other environmental protection roles such as hillside or sand dune stabilization.
Algae are very fast growing eukaryotes. They are water plants that have some technical similarities and differences with plants. Algae are found throughout the world and play several roles in the sustenance of the ecosystem. Sometimes they grow so rapidly that they can pose a threat to underwater life.
Duckweed is the smallest flowering plant known to man and the fastest growing plant in the world. Individual plants consist of a single, flat oval leaf (technically a modified stem), and the size is less than ¼ of an inch. Duckweeds generally float on the surface of still-moving ponds, and lakes. This small, flowering plant is one that also grows very quickly. Every 30 hours, the species can undergo an entire life cycle. Duckweeds are a favorite food for ducks, and so as they grow and reproduce constantly they play a vital role in the ecosystem.
If duckweed was able to reproduce continuously at maximum efficiency, it is estimated that it would be able to create four Earth-sized masses of duckweed within the short span of only four months.
5. Eastern Cottonwood
The Eastern Cottonwood is one of the fastest-growing woody plants in North America and the world. In prime conditions, it can grow at the rate of 10-15 feet per year, and can often do so for several years in a row. After the quick sprout phase is completed, the tree can continue to grow at a rate of 5 feet per year and can do so for another 25 years. The Eastern Cottonwood can grow to colossal heights and plays a vital role in the ecosystem.
6. Giant Sequoia
Sequoia trees are very popular for their incredible size. But they are also very quick growing giants as well. Giant Sequoia trees can grow at the rate of about 4-6 feet per year, and they generally do this for about 10 years. Subsequently, they are able to grow at a rate of 2 feet per year for the next 30 years. Perhaps more impressive is the fact that the sequoia does not only grow upwards but also sideways as well.
One famous Giant Sequoia tree called the “General Sherman Tree,” was measured by researchers, who estimated that the tree had added three inches to its girth in a period of 40 years. The bark of a giant sequoia may be the thickest bark of any tree that man has encountered; in some specimens, it has been found that the outer layer of bark measures over two feet thick at the base.
Acacia can describe as is a large genus of shrubs and trees in the subfamily Mimosoideae. They are members of the pea family Fabaceae and are mostly native to Africa and Australia. They are an impressively fast-growing species; one acacia falcate tree which was planted in Sabah, Malaysia, recorded an astounding 35 feet of height in just 13 months. This growth can be calculated to be about an inch per day or a little more than that. Trees like the acacia which are located in tropical climates are able to get plenty of nutrition and rainfall throughout the year, and this is an added advantage because it permits them to have a perpetual growing season.
8. Wisconsin Fast Plants
Wisconsin Fast Plants are a type of mustard that was created by scientists at the University of Wisconsin. The plants grow so quickly, that they have been marketed as fast plants to landscapers and plant enthusiasts. Every five weeks, it can produce a brand new generation. Their original purpose is to make demonstrations for procedures like disease testing, which fast-growing plants make more convenient.
Kudzu is also called Japanese arrowroot or Chinese arrowroots is one of the fastest-growing plants in the world. They are climbing, coiling, and trailing perennial vines that originally come from East Asia. This is an incredibly fast-growing plant that can add a whole foot a day, and under prime conditions. Kudzu can add a whole 60 feet in a single growing season! This plant is a relentless grower; it climbs over everything and is very hard to kill. As it grows, it tends to kill off other plants; strangling them, and depriving their leaves of sunshine. It is considered extremely aggressive and invasive. While it comes from Japan, it has spread to other locations throughout the world, including the US, where it poses a threat to the original plants.
10. Transgenic Eucalyptus
Eucalyptus plants are very aggressive growers, but especially this artificially developed species. These trees grow up to 30% faster than other types of natural eucalyptus and have been recorded to grow at a rate of 16 feet a year. Within just five years, some plants may even grow to more than 100 feet. At such a fearsome growth rate, some scientists say that the trees could easily overtake the planet, becoming a threat to other plants just like the invasive kudzu.
Plantlife is not restricted to the flowers, shrubs, and trees that you have in your backyard, plant life also exists underwater, and those underwater plants are always included in the classifications. Plants are vital for the continued survival of life on planet earth. These plants that grow at very quick rates have enormous potential for agriculture, for the sustenance of wildlife, and for the balance of life on our planet. So, the next time you walk past a plant, be thankful for its existence- you depend on it