Nature is home to more than 360,000 species of plants. Each type of plant has unique characteristics. Some have medicinal properties, some have a pleasant smell, produce nutritious fruits, while others can have an unusual appearance. Here are the 4 strangest plants found in the world.
1. Rafflesia Arnoldii
Rafflesia arnoldii is the world’s single largest flower found in the dense forest of Sumatra. This magnificent flower grows up to 1.5 meters across and has a very unpleasant smell, like decaying flesh. Moreover, it is a parasitic plant, that is, it derives nutrition from the roots of other living plants since it has no chlorophyll to keep it healthy. Rafflesia arnoldii is also extremely rare and has never been successfully cultivated outside of its native tropical rainforests.
2. Hydnellum Peckii
Scientifically known as Hydnellum Peckii, this weird plant is given various other names, including the ‘’bleeding tooth fungus’’ or the ‘’ devil’s tooth’’ due to its appearance. It has thick red fluid that appears like blood dribbling through its tiny pores and has tooth-like spines underside its funnel-shaped cap. Its pigments from the fungus are also used to dye fabrics in green or beige. Found mainly across North America and Europe, the fungus grows on coniferous forest grounds and is a member of the tooth fungi. Despite its odd appearance and sweet, pungent odor, the plant is edible but isn’t recommended since its fluid is very bitter.
3. Venus Flytrap
The Venus flytrap is a carnivorous plant endemic to the boggy areas of the North and South Carolina. It bears small white flowers at the tip of its 20-30 cm tall stem. The ‘’trap’’ is made of two hinged circular lobes with sharp teeth and hair-like projections known as trichomes on its inner surfaces. These trigger hairs send a signal to leaves to snap shut when preys brush against them. The traps are closed only when the hairs are touched several times to prevent the plant from wasting energy if ever their victim is not there. Spiders, grasshoppers, beetles, ants are all prey for the Venus flytrap, and it can take up to five days to digest the insects. This species is also endangered due to several reasons, including habitat destruction, fire suppression, and over-collection.
4. Welwitschia Mirabilis
The Welwitschia Mirabilis is found in Namibia in Africa. It consists of only two leaves that continuously grow over time and a stem with roots. The male plants are salmon-colored, and female ones are blue-green and larger. This plant is also known as the most resistant plant in the world, living between 400 to 1500 years, even without water. The two leaves can grow up to 4 meters and eventually split as the plant ages.
What are the other unusual plants you know? Share it with us in the comments below!