The rainforest is a biome that produces some of the more science-fiction-looking plants on earth. The rainforest is characterized by warm temperatures, averaging between 68 and 82 degrees F. Rainforests get a lot of rain and, thus, are quite humid, with some averaging 80 percent humidity. According to the California Institute of Technology, two thirds of the world's plant species grow in the rainforest.
If you have ever grown a bromeliad as a houseplant, you know that it contains its own "cup" for water--a depression in the center of the plant. Some bromeliads in the rainforest can hold up to several gallons of water in this depression. They grow on the rainforest floor and are home to insects, frogs and lizards.
Botanists know of over 20,000 species of orchid. In the rainforest they grow both in the soil and on the sides and in the tops of trees. Orchids are adaptable plants, which is why it is so easy to grow them in the greenhouse. According to horticulturists at the University of Georgia, orchids are the most quickly evolving group of plants on earth.
The pitcher plant is a carnivorous plant that is found in the rainforests of southeast Asia. This plant uses its huge pitcher, sometimes up to 12 inches in length, to capture insects, reptiles and small mammals on which it will feed. The pitcher is filled with water, so whatever falls into it quickly drowns and then is consumed by the plant.