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How Plants Camouflage Themselves

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We know that animals camouflage themselves for protection. Lions, wild cats, tigers, and other wild animals have their special colours.
God, His almighty, gives the possibility of camouflaging to animals, but what about plants? Botanists have noticed that plants had given this possibility too!

Lithpos
Lithops (commonly called "flowering stones" or "living stones") are true mimicry plants: their shape, size and colour causes them to resemble small stones in their national surroundings.

The plants blend in among the stones as a means of protection.
Grazing animals, which would otherwise eat them during the periods of drought to obtain moisture, usually overlook them. Even experts in the field sometimes have difficulty locating plants for study because of this unusual deceptive camouflage. 

In the wild, living stones inhabit vast dry regions of southern Africa. Several areas in which these plants grow receive less than two inches of rainfall per month throughout the entire year. In an extreme situation of low rainfall, at least one species of lithops (living stones) depends on mist or fog to provide its main source of moisture.

Lithops could not survive in many areas that they are found were it not for their capacity to store water. In fact, almost the entire plant is devoted to this function. This "body" of the plant is divided into two succulent leaves fused together in the shape of an inverted cone. The fissure or slit at the top of the plant is the division of the two leaves. There is no stem as such, but rather the taproot joins abruptly at the base of the leaves.

The structure of the plant reveals to the imagination the harsh environment in which lithops live: the scarcity of water demands that young plants limited to only two leaves and root system, as more extravagant growth would only serve to waste water. The leaves are thick to store enough water for the plants to survive for months without rain. The plants are small and keep a low profile to minimise the effect of the intense heat and light of their climate.

Boletus
Boletus mushroom (commonly called: Porcini, Cepe, King Bolete) often looks like the inedible pepper mushroom, and you can easily confuse the golden-brown mushroom with the poisonous pseudo golden-brown mushroom. The delicious edible boletus can hardly be distinguished from the bitter one.

Boletus edulis is distinguished from other members of the bolete group by a combination of characters: substantial size, a smooth to wrinkled brown to reddish-brown cap surface, drab white pores becoming yellowish olive in age, a usually club-shape site with distinctive white reticulations at the apex, mild test, and absence of colour change. It is the justice of God to whom be ascribed all perfection and majesty, to give every thing its own secrets for surviving.


References:
1. Osipov N. The Magic Tree
2. Rowlette N. A Guide to the cultivation of Lithop
3. lithops.info/en/lithops.html
4. lithop.supanet.com
5. mykoweb.com/CAF/spcies/Boletus
6. thefreedictionary.com
Ali A. Naser -
Ali A. Naser [‘Aly Naa’sir] has a master's degree in electronics engineering from The Technical University - Varna, Bulgaria.Read More >>

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Last Updated on Monday, 25 December 2006 22:16  

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