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Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of Unknowns Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of the Unknown Wikenigma - an Encyclopaedia of Unknowns Wikenigma - an Encyclopaedia of the Unknown

Thermogenic plants

More than 900 plant species worldwide are known to be able to internally heat themselves. A famous example is the Skunk Cabbage, Symplocarpus foetidus, which is capable of maintaining an internal temperature of around 20 °C even when the ambient temperature drops to around 0 °C.

The heat is generated by mechanisms that have yet to be fully explained, although its likely that it originates in cellular mitochondria 1) One hypothesis for the existence of the phenomenon is that it may help disperse scents that beckon pollinating insects.

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1) Note: Recent research has found that some animal mitochondria routinely operate at 50 °C.