We’re back again with another bizarre top 20 list.
Below we will list the weirdest plants in the world. Even if vegetation has a reputation for being boring and not exciting enough, we can guarantee that the species on our list are neither of those.
Some might surprise you quite a lot!
Here are the weirdest plants in the world:
20. Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula)
It is meat eating. Not many plants eat other stuff than sunlight (even if you will see a few in our list below). And even less (about 4 species in total) are able of move fast. This makes the Venus Flytrap seem like it might be from another reality or something. Actually, it is from boggy places of Northern and Southern Carolina, where the ground is inadequate in nutritional value. It needs a high-nitrogen treat once in a while.
You may wonder how its trap is activated. Well, it uses trigger hairs. When they are moved within 20 seconds one from another, or if only one hair is moved twice, the trap is closed. More healthy Venus Flytraps are able to close the sides faster. Researchers are uncertain about the mechanism; and they assume it has to do with nearby tissues delivering chemical information to each other.
Its jaw-looking parts act like interlocked fingers, or for its victim within, like jail bars. They do their best to stop the prey from getting out of there. Then the rest is completed with digestive juices.
19. Tropical Pitcher Plants (Nepenthese edwardsiana)
What is it? Apes have been seen consuming parts from it. Mice have been identified partly consumed in it and some other things too (even if it does not smell like a rotten corpse). About 150 varieties are known, the majority of them from the jungles of Sumatra, Borneo and Malaysia.
The diet plan of an exotic pitcher plant contains just about everything that can fit into the pouch pocket of gluey sap, such as reptiles, harmful termites, spiders or worms, even it seems to choose smaller sized bugs. The individual varieties have complicated connections with their environments. One has progressed to have colonies of ants to clean up the scraps from the bigger carcasses, which if remained laying around in the place would cause some putrid consequences.
Some Nepenthes have turned into bathroom containers for tree shrews, offering a shrew-sized perch and juicy exudates to entice shrews while they are busy. These plants get the majority of their nitrogen from dung of tree shrew.
18. Cape Sundew (Drosera capensis)
There is more meat-eating vegetation out there than you probably noticed (more than we noticed, anyway). The Cape Sundew, indigenous to Southern African regions, blocks bugs not with fast motions or strange pitcher-shaped parts, but instead by gradually closing its “arms” (the sticky and sap-covered appendages) around its victim. This is done slowly, generally in about half an hour, and maybe pretty vicious.
This is also the first plant here that is excellent at reproducing. It reseeds quickly and can endure a variety of temperature ranges. It is on New Zealand’s record of obtrusive and unwanted plants pests.
17. Strangler Fig (Ficus – some tropical and subtropical species)
A Strangler Fig is the greatest mooch of the vegetation world. Not only does they mooch, they destroy too. There are many different varieties of Strangler Fig, but these are all generally the same thing: that partner who takes all of your meals. Or that guy at the parties who takes all of your alcohol. Only that he kills his victim too. Anyway, they are spread generally by hitch hiking on some bird species and then dropped on the top of other plants in the heavy woodlands.
They are crazy because they can grow both up and down, so they can steal the host tree of all the nutritional substances, and up for sunshine. They often live longer than the host tree by decades, sometimes developing empty cores that have the spirit of the older tree.
16. Bear’s-Head Teeth Mushroom (Hericium americanum)
That is a mushroom and if you still are not sure that it should be on the list, it also battles melanoma, stimulates nerve sensors development and destroys roundworms.
In addition, it can grow some great branches, too. We are not yet sure how they thought about that name though, since it looks more like a new mop to many.
15. Witches’ Butter (Tremella mesenterica)
Sticking with delicious fungi that look inedible, we have the Witches’ Butter. It had other enjoyable names, like the yellow brain or golden jelly fungi.
It also reproduces by sexual and asexual reproduction. If you will try to eat it, you will discover that it has no taste. Witches’ butter is now being analyzed because of exclusive scientific procedures that it goes through. Some believe that they will confirm it to have wellness advantages. It appears on recently dead vegetation and it is parasitic on other species of fungi, an awesome market for them.
14. Hammer Orchid (Drakaea glyptodont)
This vulnerable orchid from Australia is pollinated in an exclusive way. It has an appendage that grows on all Drakaea glyptodon that are found on the globe. Female thynnid wasps are actually flightless and they also go on top of vegetation to attract the male wasps, who can fly. Then male wasps take them up and start to reproduce during the flight. The Drakaea glyptodon imitates the female thynnid wasp’s entire body.
The male wasp, being a foolish horny insect, tries to mate with the bogus female wasp and is caught into a huge mash of plant pollen. To actually complete pollinating a plant and keep the orchids surviving, he has to touch another Drakea glyptodon and attempt to mate with it, so in the end he has to be misled twice.
13. Silver Torch Cactus (Cleistocactus strausii)
It is wooly, but this is not unusual; it blossoms, but this is not too uncommon either. Although the way in which the flowers are formed is uncommon (yes it is a cactus with flowers), other cactus blossoms just like this, only that it is not so horizontally.
But it possesses an awesome name, and it is a very uncommon cactus in that it likes cool conditions. It lives in the higher hills of Bolivia and Argentina and is able to withstand freezing of up to -15 degrees Celsius.
11. Dragon’s Blood Tree (Dracaena cinnabari)
This is one of the greatest-looking plants ever. Its sap appears to be like dragons’ blood; it is a deeper red, even when it is dried into other materials. It was valued among ancient civilizations. It can be used for stimulating substances, and for toothpaste, if you need a natural one. Fortunately, it stayed through centuries of everyone trying to gather it, which is saying a lot since the plant is only discovered on the isle of Socotra. The varieties are a remnant of the subtropical environments that used to grow across Northern African areas, until the wasteland took over there.
The cover looks like an outdoor umbrella and functions like one; it protects the roots and decreases water loss. The vegetation usually grows together, because the shades gather what minor wetness there is on the isle of Socotra (a region that has 10 inches of rainfall a year) and allows new plants to develop.
10. Welwitschia (Welwitschia mirabilis)
Also known as “tumbo” or “tweeblaarkanniedood”, the Welwitschia is a residing fossil discovered in the deserts of Angola and Namibia. Its closer family members have vanished long before that and its remote relatives consist of pines, larches, spruces and firs. It has just one short trunk and a couple of leaves – only two. It can grow only two leaves regardless of how old it is.
To be even more amazing, the studies show that it can live anywhere from 500 to 1500, and sometimes even 2000 years! So the these plants will probably be still in existence when the great-great-great children will be alive too. That is supposing no apocalypses occur, although we could bet that these people would get through the apocalypse a lot better than we would.
9. Hydnora (Hydnora Africana)
It looks like it supposed to be on an imaginary world in a sci-fi film, except that no audience would think that is credible, even for a short time. The Hydnora grows absolutely in a subterranean environment, except for the flower, which is formed to increase the performance of its bristles in guiding beetles to its distressing middle.
And why would insects want to go near it? Well, it is because it smells like waste. Many times, the enthralled dung beetles have been attracted into its absolute depths. Do not fear about it, it does not eat these beetles. The plant just keeps them, by blocking them until the plant is older enough, and then lets go all the beetles to roam free in the world to pollinate and reproduce. The female and male Hydnoras have various receptors for the pollination, so the beetles must come across other Hydnoras for the plan to work.
Does this charming stuff, once pollinated plant, keep fruit? Yes; the fruits require two years to grow in the underground, and it is said to be identical in flavor and structure to a spud, and used for tanning leather and protecting fishnets.
8. Wolffia (Wolffia species)
They are very small! Actually, they are the tiniest blooming plants! How little are they?
- Find the letter “o” on the page
- Think about two specks within that “o”. Two mature Wolffias can fit within of this “o”! Also, if you return in 24-36 hours, then you could find four of these plants! They reproduce really quick. One more thing: the plant does not have leaves, roots or stems, even if they sometimes grow a small flower with only one stamen and a single pistil.
If you have been to a lake or a stream on any region, there is a reasonable opportunity to meet them, maybe under the popular name of “duckweed”. Several Oriental varieties are skimmed off their waters and consumed, or fed to the animals, since they are 40% rich in proteins.
7. Lithops (Lithops species)
Some vegetation use poisons to prevent being consumed. Others use thorns. The Lithops endures harsh conditions by looking like a stone. If you are into collecting stones in Southeast Africa, you will choose one of the two-leafed species. There is a multitude of species, each usually preferring a certain kind of rock to cover them. In a famine, they may go down below the surface, using the transparent top covering to gather any light that gets through the rocks.
They are some fun plants to have, and if properly maintained, may deliver up white or yellow-colored daisy-like flowers.
6. Victoria Amazonica (Victoria amazonica)
The Kew Garden, a Victorian plant museum, owns an extremely impressive selection of water lilies. Their leaves can grow up to more than three meters across! The sides fold up to prevent them overlapping with the others who are nearby, and the undersides are extremely thorny to prevent them being consumed. An older lily pad can hold an allocated weight of 45 kilograms or even a child.
The flowers are large, wonderful, and can only be seen in the evening. On the first evening, the blossoms are white-colored, fresh and female, and snare beetles within themselves; on the second day, they are mild red, odorless, and male, letting the beetles go, dusted with plant pollen, to search for a fresh white female lily that starts its own first evening. If you see their flowers at daybreak, then you can observe them near rather easily.
5. Dragon Arum (Dracunculus vulgaris)
This meter-long flower-thingy only smells for an entire day, and it is just a “sick dungy spoiled meaty fragrance”, so does this counts? As you might think, it smells like this in order to be able to entice the flies who want to pollinate it. This stinky plant is different because it is discovered in southeast European countries, not Southeast Asia. It is toxic as well. So just look, but do not touch it!
4. African Acacia (now Vachellia species)
The acacia on the plains looks so simple, the traditional picture of the Africa savannah. Well, the plant is a huge killer. If an Africa Acacia tree is attacked by a grazing creature, like a kudu, it produces a cloud of ethylene gas, this caution vegetation up to 50 meters downwind to generate additional tannin in the leaves, thus making them harmful.
The zoologists realized this when they were requested to examine the death of around 3000 kudu antelopes on the ranches in Transvaal. They observed that the giraffes who were able to wander and choose the vegetation they ate searched only one acacia plant out of ten, by avoiding the trees that grew downwind of others. The antelopes, which were kept in the ranches, had very little to eat during the cold season but the acacia leaves, eating the harmful leaves until all of them passed away.
Besides using the gas, poisons and thorns to protect themselves, acacias usually seek the services of an army of ants as their security officers. The vegetation offer housing and nectar for these ants, and the stinging bugs strike whatever gets near the plant. The tree does need herbivore species to help spread it, however, so the insects cannot be too effective in chasing away the grazers or pollinators. So, acacias have some complex three-way connections with various animals.
3. Bladderwort (Utricularia species)
Bladderworts are discovered in exotic and moderate lakes all over the globe. What makes them so interesting? Well, they are completely submersible sailing carnivores. They have tiny air sacs to move when they are flourishing, and then when it is not blossoming time they go underwater like periodic submarines.
They eat small little invertebrates that they pull into the bladders with the help of vacuum. Tiny seafood has also been known to provoke the snap. They are an excellent species at enduring conditions just about everywhere (unlike most meat-eating plants). In some locations in the US they have become unwanted and people are trying to get rid of these plants.
What happens when one drifts into the lender of a pond? Well, it will connect itself to that area by tiny needle-like parts.
2. Corpse Flower (Amorphophallus titanium)
Its odor is highly like a decaying corpse, and it seems like coming from the depth of earth. We can suppose that its unpleasant fragrance inhibits the predators from consuming it, but despite it to obtain this species is still very rare; so according to the authorities it is formally “a threatened plant” that comes from the jungles of Sumatra.
It is not really a single big flower; it is countless numbers of little male and female blossoms. These produce sebum, while the middle gathers warmth. The warmth plus the sebum creates the unusual smell that draws the beetles pollinating the flower. If you were thinking about its size, an older plant can have a weight of up to 200 lbs.
1. Elephant-Foot Yam (Amorphophallus paeoniifolius)
Can you guess to which these lovely little plants are related to? Yes, to the corpse flowers. Not only are these related, but they also share plenty of features. For example, this plant also smells like corpses. The elephant-foot yams differ in colors, as well and some are of a pure white.
The plant might have the advantage on the corpse flower in craziness because it is delicious. In some Oriental traditions, they are treated like delicacies, while in the others they are last-resort meal resources.