Five Amazingly Large Plants And Where They Grow

Plants live in every ecosystem on Earth, from the Amazon rain forest to the Arctic Circle. While many plants are of moderate size, there are some that are among the largest organisms on the planet. Here are five of the most amazingly gigantic plants that have ever lived.

The Giant Sequoia

Giant Sequoia trees

Redwoods are among the tallest trees on Earth, and the tallest of these is the giant sequoia, native to the coastal areas of California and the Pacific Northwest. These massive trees grow to an average height of more than 250 feet and an average diameter of around 20 feet. They can have a mass of more than 3,000 tons.

The coast redwood, while not as massive as its cousin, can be even taller. Specimens have been recorded that reach a height of more than 350 feet! The tallest living tree is the Hyperion tree in Redwood National Park, which has been measured at 379 feet tall.

The Montezuma Cypress

While this tree is not nearly so tall as the various redwoods, it can be the thickest and stoutest of trees. This evergreen tree grows throughout Mexico and southern Texas. It can reach a height of 130 feet, but what makes it noteworthy is the diameter of its trunk.

While many individual trees have trunks that are only 10 feet or so in diameter, certain exceptional specimens are much thicker. "El Árbol del Tule" is a remarkably large cypress that grows near the city of Oaxaca in southern Mexico. Its trunk has a diameter of 46 feet and is 138 feet in circumference!

Pando, the Trembling Giant

Many species of plants reproduce asexually, which means that an individual gives birth to genetically identical offspring. In some cases, these plants all remain connected, making them a single gigantic organism. One remarkable specimen that demonstrates this is the grove of quaking aspen trees known as "Pando."

This grove is located near Fish Lake in southern Utah. Consisting of more than 40,000 individual trunks all connected by a massive underground network of roots, Pando covers more than 100 acres and is estimated to weigh more than 13 million pounds. The clonal colony is considered to be one of the largest organisms ever to live.

The Banyan Trees of India

Unlike many other trees, banyans grow down towards the ground. They send aerial roots down towards the ground. When these reach the ground, they begin thickening and forming trunks. Thus, a single tree can contain many different, interconnected stems and branches.

The largest single specimen can be found in the state of Andhra Pradesh in southeastern India. Known as "Thimmamma Marrimanu," it covers an area of more than 5 acres. Its canopy extends for more than 19,000 square meters. You would have to walk for nearly 3,000 feet to walk all the way around the edge of this tree!

Titan Arum, the Corpse Flower

Titan Arum, the Corpse Flower

While this plant is not on the same scale as the previous examples, it is still a remarkable specimen. Native to the rain forests of western Sumatra, this amazing plant produces an inflorescence, or cluster of flowers, that can be more than 10 feet high. This is one of the largest flowers on Earth.

The term "corpse flower" comes from the characteristic aroma produced by the plant when it blooms. It smells much like rotting meat to attract carrion beetles and other insects that pollinate the plant. The plant blooms only once every few years.

These are just a few of the freakishly large plants that can exist on Earth. The world of botany holds many more remarkable species.

Jonathan Leger is a well-known author and gardening enthusiast. Some of his other pieces can be found at where he shares his passion for the unique and beautiful plants of the world.