Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Eight of the World’s Most Unusual Plants

Weird is relative. What seems weird to me might not seem weird to you. In the plant kingdom, however, there are definitely some species that most people would acknowledge are highly unusual.

1. Rafflesia arnoldii: this parasitic plant develops the world's largest bloom that can grow over three feet across. The flower is a fleshy color, with spots that make it look like a teenager's acne-ridden skin. It smells bad and has a hole in the center that holds six or seven quarts of water. The plant has no leaves, stems, or roots.



2. Hydnora africana, an unusual flesh-colored, parasitic flower that attacks the nearby roots of shrubby in arid deserts of South Africa. The putrid-smelling blossom attracts herds of carrion beetles.


Image Credit: Martin Heigan (via creative commons)

3. Dracunculus vulgaris: smells like rotting flesh, and has a burgundy-colored, leaf-like flower that projects a slender, black appendage.





4. Amorphophallus: means, literally, "shapeless male genetalia." The name comes from the shape of the protruding black spadix.





5. Wollemia nobilis: This bizarre-looking tree was known only from 120 million-year-old fossil leaves before 1994; fewer than one hundred exist in the wild. They have strange bark that looks like bubbles of chocolate, multiple trunks, and ferny-looking leaves growing in spirals. They can grow up to 125 feet tall.



6. Welwitschia mirabilis consists of only two leaves and a stem with roots. Its two leaves continue to grow until they resemble an alien life form. The stem gets thicker rather than higher, although this plant can grow to be almost six feet high and twenty-four feet wide. Its estimated lifespan is 400 to 1500 years. Mirabilis grows in Namibia, and is thought to be a relic of the Jurassic period.



7. Drakaea glyptodon: an orchid. It is the color of, and smells like, raw meat. Pollinated by male wasps.

8. Wolffia angusta: the world's smallest flower. A dozen plants would easily fit on the head of a pin and two plants in full bloom will fit inside a small printed letter "o."





--
" If you want to enjoy life, fill yourself with good thoughts..."

Aditi Sagaran


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9 comments:

MichaelC37 said...

Is anyone else slightly disturbed that a man has a colony of those tiny plants growing on his finger?

Wry Beauty said...

Nope, Mike...I'm right there with you on that.

Meghan O'Connor said...

they're not growing on the person's finger, the person scooped some up.

As for the orchid with the wasp on it, I certainly haven't ever seen raw meat that shade of purple.

William Windsor said...

Ok, i definitely thought that they were growing on his finger aswell.... i was like wtf? How long has he had those on?

Lysergide 25 said...

Some great examples of strange and beautiful plants, though the wollemi pine certainly has more than 100 known specimens now (theres a big effort to re-establish it in Australia [where it is native]) and makes a fantastic houseplant.

The only thing I find disturbing about this entire post are the ridiculously ignorant comments... Plants dont grow on people! do any of you have even a rudimentary education???!!!

Unknown said...

shehzad iqbal says it a very nice pictures

The Plant Man said...

Was looking for the TickleMe Plant. That one I think is the weirdest! It actually MOVES when you Tickle it. You can grow them at home now
check out the video. http:www.ticklemeplant.com

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