2Ribbonwood treeThe Idiot Fruit or Ribbonwood, is one of the most primitive of flowering plants.It is an ever-green tree, 20-30m tall.It is found in a few areas of the Daintree rainforest in far north Queensland.The flowers are 4-5 cm with spirally arranged red petals.The fruit is a brittle globular nut-like seed around 8 cm in diameter, which splits into three or four segments once fallen.
4RediscoveryThe plant was found in late 1800s by Timber cutters in South Cairns.It was thought to be extinct and was again found in It was rediscovered as it was found in dead cattle’ stomach.
5Flowers of RibbonwoodHalf of the flowers do not obtain any female sex organs.The species uses the process called cross- pollination.Attracted by the colour and smell of the flower, tiny beetles crawl in and lay their eggs within the centre of the flower, which contains the flower's pollen. Within the flower some of the sticky pollen gets trapped on the insect's bodies. If the next flower they visit is a receptive one, it will pollinate and produce the seeds.
7Spread of seedThe seeds mainly spread through gravity dispersal, rolling down the steep mountain slopes to find their new homeThe seed ispoisonous.
8GerminationWhile other modern flowering plants produce seeds which have one or two cotyledon, the seedlings of the Ribbonwood have between three or four cotyledons.So the Ribbonwood can produce more than one shoot per seed, while the seeds in all other plant species will send up a single shoot.
9Uses of Ribbonwood plant The poison in the seed can be used in small doses as a medicine to save livesAs all other plants it helps to produce oxygen while doing photosynthesis and clean the environment.The plants give shelter for animals and insects to live in.When the plants die, after a long time, they are transformed into the fossil fuel