Fantastic Plants I: Botanic Marvels
Updated 17:56, 20-Apr-2019

From the most poisonous tree to the most magical fruit with the power of making sour food taste sweet, the world of plants is filled with species that never fail to surprise us with their secret techniques.

White silk floss tree

The white silk floss tree has a noticeable "big belly." Its thorny branches are grafted from one of its cousins, a silk floss tree, and produce pink flowers. White silk floss trees are native to South America and thrive in tropical and sub-tropical climates. The bulging trunk, which stores water, can easily stretch to two meters in diameter and allows the tree to survive for months without rain.

 Miracle berry

The miracle berry has the power to make sour food taste sweet. The berry itself isn't sweet, the secret is a protein called miraculin that binds to your taste receptors and temporarily changes their function. The effect, however, wears off once the protein is washed away with saliva. So enjoy it while it lasts. 

From left to right: Miracle berry, white silk floss tree, poison arrow tree. /CGTN Photo

From left to right: Miracle berry, white silk floss tree, poison arrow tree. /CGTN Photo

Poison arrow tree

Many believe that the antiaris toxicaria, or poison arrow tree, is the world's most poisonous tree. Voyagers once spoke of a tree that killed animals and plants for miles around. While we now know this is fiction, the tree can still be deadly. The tree's latex contains toxins, which in large doses increase the force of the heart's contractions and eventually lead to death. Contact with the eyes can lead to blindness. It's no wonder that in areas of southern China and Southeast Asia it was used to create poison darts and arrows for hunting or warfare.

Fantastic plants

The Beijing Horticultural Expo 2019 serves as a good opportunity to exhibit over 1,000 plant species, most of which are from the tropical area. This three-episode series has selected some of the plants housed in the newly-built Plant Pavilion with the most distinctive characters that are rarely noticed or even heard of.

Video Editor: Wang Zengzheng

Camera Operators: Zhao Yuxiang, Wang Zengzheng, Liang Si

Presenter: Matthew Watson

Writer: Zhang Hao

Producers: Zhang Xiaohe, Mi Xue, Zhao Ying

Chief Editor: Chen Ran

Supervisor: Zhang Shilei

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