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Name: Derek C.
Status: student
Age: 15
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1999-2001 


Question:
Is there a shrub/bush native to the middle east and or north African areas [esp. israel and egypt] that is known to spontaneously combust in order for the seeds to open correctly? I heard about it from a very intelligent man. He said this shrub, in order for the seeds to open correctly [not unlike certain types of pine cones i assume] fire had to come in contact with the shrub. However, in a time of "desperation" the plant was known to emit certain chemicals that caught fire when mixed with the pollen the plant contained. Naturally, the plant would then be able to take root in the ground and grow. This question has been puzzling me for quite some time, and I would forever gratefull if you are able to answer it. Thank you.


Replies:
According to an Israeli botanist, "there are many plants in the S African and Australian floras which are true pyrophytes in the way that they open their fruits only after fire took place". However , nothing known about "spontaneous combustion".

The following may be helpful

http://www.nccn.net/~firesafe/Beware%20of%20Pyrophytes.htm

http://www.uni-freiburg.de/fireglobe/iffn/country/il/il_5.htm

Sincerely,

Anthony R. Brach



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