Geek Trivia

The Plant Fraxinella Is Most Notable For Its?

Extreme Flammability
Exploding Spores
Nauseating Bitterness
Rotting Fragrance
The World's Largest Wayfinding "You Are Here" Map Is Located In?

Answer: Extreme Flammability

You’d never guess it, just looking at the plant, but fraxinella—Dictamnus albus, an herbaceous perennial found throughout woodland habitats in southern Europe, northern Africa, and most of Asia—is just looking for a reason to burst into flames.

The pretty plant, found topped with spikes of flowers that vary from white to a light purple, looks entirely unassuming. During the summer months, however, it excretes a gooey, sticky sap-like substance that smells strongly of lemons. This substance is highly flammable, and if the plant is exposed to a flame, the entire bush goes up in a quick and bright flash of fire.

In fact, fraxinella is so flammable that in many regions it is simply referred to as the “burning bush” and the “gas plant”. Although the plant is quite hardy and would easily survive in gardens outside of its natural habitats, the plant is rarely seen outside of showcase specimens in botanical gardens because it is, on a fundamental level, a fire hazard with toxic foliage.

Image courtesy of Jörg Hempel/Wikimedia.