Question What is the smallest flower in the world?
Watermeal. (Wolffia spp.)
Watermeal (Wolffia spp.) is a member of the duckweed family (Lemnaceae), a family that contains some of the simplest flowering plants. There are various species of the genus Wolffia worldwide, all very small.
The plant itself averages 1/42” long and 1/85” wide or about the size of one candy sprinkle. It can weigh about 1/190,000 of an ounce, equivalent to two grains of table salt. They are very hard to see! Imagine if you tried to fill a thimble with them, it is estimated that you would need some 5000 plants!
Each Wolffia flower consists of a single pistil and stamen; it also produces the world’s smallest fruit, called a utricle. The plant is found in quiet freshwater lakes or marshes with species worldwide. Since the plants have no roots, they can easily float on the surface of the water, where they resemble cornmeal. Water-meal is sometimes used in cold-water aquaria since it is easy to propagate.
Published: 11/19/2019. Author: Science Reference Section, Library of Congress