Bizzare Plants

Corpse Flower

Corpse Flower

It smells strongly like a rotting corpse, and it looks like it belongs in the movie Avatar. I would imagine that the smell helps it not be eaten, but despite this the plant is still very rare. In other words, it’s endangered. Coming from the forests of Sumatra, it’s not actually one big flower. Its thousands upon thousands of little male and female flowers. These exert oils, while the center collects heat. The heat of the oils create the smell that attracts beetles that will pollinate it. In case you were wondering, a mature one can weigh 200 pounds.

 

Elephant foot Yam

Elephant Foot Yam

Guess who this little cute guy is related to? Yep, the corpse flower. Not only are they related, they also share many characteristics. One happens to be that this guy also smells like a corpse. These elephant foot yams vary in color, as well. Some are pure white.

Rafflesia Arnoldis

Rafflesia Arnoldis

Guys, I can’t believe it either. But I promise this is the last plant that smells like a corpse. This one is unique in that it is the worlds largest single flower.  It has no stems, leaves, or roots-so it’s pretty bad at actually being a plant. It’s related to fungi, but according to other sources it is a plant.

venus-fly-trap

Venus Flytrap

It’s carnivorous. Not many plants eat things besides sunlight. Even fewer (as in about four species) are capable of rapid movement. This makes the Venus Flytrap seem like, I don’t know, it might be from another planet or something… Anyway, you might wonder how the trap is triggered. Well, they have trigger hairs. These trigger hairs trigger the trap when two are touched within 20 seconds of each other.

Why does it have jaw looking things? Those act like interlocking fingers, or to the insect inside, prison bars. They do their best to restrain the insect from escaping. Healthier Venus Flytraps close quicker on their prey, but scientists are kind of unsure about the mechanism. Then the rest is done with digestive juices.

 

Nepenthes Tropical Pitcher Plants

Nepenthes Tropical Pitcher Plants

Monkeys have been spotted drinking from it. Rats have been spotted partially digested in it. The diet of these things includes just about anything the right size that can fit in them. That means lizards, termites, spiders, worms, etc. can be digested by the Nepenthes. They also have some complex relationships with the ecosystem. Flies and mosquitoes have been known to lay larva on them. Much of their diet comes from feces of the tree shrew species (a mammal), and ants have been known to eat out of it.

Cape Sundew

Cape Sundew

The Cape Sundew eats insects not with rapid movements, or weird pitcher shaped appendages, but instead by slowly wrapping its arms (by that I mean “leaves”) around prey. This is slow, on average about 30 minutes, and probably fairly cruel. This is also the first plant on the list that is very good at reproducing. Not only can it reproduce, but it can survive large fluctuations of temperature and water availability as well. So that’s why humans like to keep them, because they allow for carelessness when they are being grown. It is originally from South Africa and is invading New Zealand.

Strangler Fig

Strangler Fig

The Strangler Fig is the biggest mooch of the plant kingdom. Not only does it mooch, it kills. They are dispersed usually by hitch hiking on birds and being dropped on the canopy of trees of a dense forest. They are strange because they will grow up and down. Down so they can choke the living tree of all the nutrients, and up for sunlight. They often outlive the host tree by years, sometimes forming hollow cores that house the spirit of the old tree.

Bear's Head Tooth Mushroom

Bear’s Head Tooth Mushroom

That’s a mushroom, it also fights cancer, stimulates nerve growth, and helps kill roundworms. Some really brave soul found out it was edible.

 

witch's butter - brain

Witches’ Butter

Sticking with edible fungi that look inedible, here is witches butter. It has been given other pleasant names such as yellow brain and golden jelly fungus.

It also reproduces by both sexual and asexual production. If you do happen to try to eat it, you’ll find that it has no flavor. Witches’ butter is currently being studied because of unique biological processes that it undergoes. Some believe that they will prove to have health benefits. It grows on recently fallen and dead trees.

Drakaea glyptodon

Drakaea glyptodon

Well, it pollinates in a unique way. Does that red thing on the side look like it belongs there? When you look even closer, what’s that black thing on top of the red thing? Well, you’ll find this appendage on all of the Drakaea glyptodon that you come across.

Female wasps happen to be flightless. They also happen to climb on top of plants to S.O.S. until the male picks them up and does his thing to reproduce with them during flight. The Drakaea glyptodon mimicks the female wasp’s body. The male wasp, being a dumb horny guy, will pick up the fake female wasp. Not only does he have to pick it up, but he has to come into contact with another Drakaea glyptodon to actually pollinate the plant. So he has to be fooled twice. Now you know how they came up with which was the male and which was the female.