__Video taken at 27,000 frames per second by Nicholas Money.__ Pimple shooter -- meet Ascobolus immersus This fungus projects eight spores at once using a spray of fluid from the plant's spore-bearing cells, which make up the ascus. The spore's flight reaches a maximum acceleration at almost 2,000,000 meters per second squared -- the fastest recorded acceleration in nature.
__Videos taken at 1,000,000 frames per second by Nicholas Money and Mark Fischer.__ (PLoS One, 3(9): e3237, 2008 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0003237). Blob on a stick -- meet Pilobolus kleinii Also known as the "hat thrower," this fungus has a translucent-yellowish stalk with a crystal-like head, looking like a scepter for a one-centimeter tall king. The fungus lives on feces from grazing herbivores, like cattle, and during the evenings its spore-producing organs, called fruiting bodies, fill with fluids and become light-sensitive, bending its black spore-cap towards the early morning sun. When the fungus reaches maturity, the pressure inside the bulb breaks the cap away from the fruiting body, shooting the spores up to six feet away.
__Videos recorded by Nicholas Money and Mark Fischer at 50,000 frames per second.__ (PLoS One, 3(9): e3237, 2008 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0003237). Snappy stamen -- meet Cornus canadensis Cornus canadensis, commonly known as the bunchberry dogwood, relies on stored elastic energy to shoot pollen from its stamen in less than 0.5 milliseconds. This tiny shrub has small white flowers and green flat leaves, and is one of the fastest-moving plants ever captured on film. When the flowers of the dogwood flip open, they release the plant's stamen, which can accelerate to 24,000 meters per second squared, propelling their pollen up to 2.5 centimeters into the air -- more than ten times the height of the flower.
__Video recorded by Joan Edwards at 10,000 frames per second.__ (Nature, 435:164, 2005 doi:10.1038/435164a). The James Dean of fast plants -- meet Morus abla This plant wants to live fast, die young, and flap its petals around at over half the speed of sound, nearing the theoretical physical limits for movements in plants. The short-lived, fast growing tree, also known as the white mulberry, is native to northern China and is widely cultivated to feed silkworms. The mulberry tree is the fastest moving plant on earth, shooting out pollen from its anthers in a puff of smoke that can travel around 200 meters per second and land up to 6 cm away from the plant. All in a mere 25μs.
__Video recorded by Phillip Taylor at 40,000 frames per second.__ (Sex. plant reprod., 19:19-24, 2006 doi:10.1007/s00497-005-0018-9).
**__Related stories:__***linkurl:Video: When peat goes POP;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/57571/
[22nd July 2010]*linkurl:They came from above;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/55239/
[December 2008]*linkurl:Flower power in motion;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54634/
[8th May 2008]