The World's Smallest Fruit

Ever wonder about the smallest fruit in the world? Can you imagine about it's size? The World's Smallest Fruit is just 0.30 mm long and it is produced by the smallest flowering plants on Earth - Wolffia. Let us talk about Wolffia today!

Wolffia is a genus of 9 to 11 species under Duckweed (Lemnaceae) family and it includes include the smallest flowering plants on Earth. The smallest of Wolffia species are the Australian Wolffia angusta and the Asian/African Wolffia globosa. The plant itself measures about 1 mm long and the tiny mature fruit takes up most of its parent plant body. The fruit of Wolffia angusta is only 0.30 mm long and weighs about 70 micrograms. The fruit is no bigger than a grain of salt.

Commonly called as Watermeal, these aquatic plants resemble specks of cornmeal floating on the water. Wolffia species are free-floating thalii, green or yellow-green, and without roots. The flower is produced in a depression on the top surface of the plant body. It has one stamen and one pistil. Individuals often float together in pairs or form floating mats with related plants, such as Lemna and Spirodela species. Most species have a very wide distribution across several continents.

Wolffia species contains about 40% protein. They are a good source of high protein food. Since ancient times they have been collected from the water and eaten as a vegetable, in many parts of Asia.