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10 of the World's Strangest Plant Species

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posted on Sep, 23 2009 @ 11:28 PM
Welwitschia mirabilis:World's Most Resistant Plant

It's not pretty to look at, but Namibia's plant Welwitschia Mirabilis can truly claim to be one of a kind. There really is nothing like it. Welwitschia plant consists of only two leaves and a sturdy stem with roots. That's all! Two leaves continue to grow until they resemble the shaggy mane of some sci-fi alien. The stem thickens, rather than gains in height, and can grow to be almost 2 meters high and 8 meters wide. Their estimated lifespan is 400 to 1500 years. It can survive up to five years with no rain. The plant is said to be very tasty either raw or baked in hot ashes, and this is how it got its other name, Onyanga, which means onion of the desert.

Dionaea muscipula: the Venus Fly Trap

The Venus Fly Trap is the most famous of all carnivorous plants due to the active and efficient nature of its unique traps. It may be famous, but it's also threatened. The plant's two hinged leaves are covered in ultra sensitive fine hairs that detect the presence of everything from ants to arachnids. Trigger the hairs and snap! The trap will shut in less than a second.

Rafflesia arnoldii: World's Largest Flower

There is one exotic and rare plant you wouldn't likely want to grow anywhere near your landscape no matter how famous it would make you for doing so. That would be growing the largest flower in the world. This exotic, very rare, speckled, though not particularly pretty, rust colored flower is called Rafflesia Arnoldii.

Rafflesia Arnoldii, recently assigned to the Euphorbiaceae family, is the biggest individually produced flower in the world. It gets to be 3 feet across and weighing a whopping 15- 24 pounds. That's pretty darn big but still you would not like this flower in your perennial bed. Why is that? If you could mimic a rainforest type environment for this plant, it gives off a most offensive odor when in bloom. This scent is somewhat like rotting meat. This is why it is often called the Corpse Plant by some natives of Indonesia where it originates.

Its blossoms only last three days to a week. But in those few days it needs a miracle or two just for survival. This hideous smell it produces attracts pollinating insects to it to help perpetuate the species. But even when this happens only 10-20 percent of the tiny seedlings make it. With any luck in nine months it blooms

Desmodium gyrans: the Dancing Plant

Darwin called the plant Hedysarum; modern botanists call it either Desmodium Gyrans, or more correctly these days, Codariocalyx Motorius. Its common name is Dancing Grass or Telegraph Plant or Semaphore Plant -- after the leaf movements, which resemble semaphore signals. For all of its uses this plant is easy to grow, dancing happily on a sunny windowsill and watered when dry. Some say it dances best to the "Greatful Dead!"

Euphorbia obesa: the Baseball Plant

Euphorbia Obesa, also known as the Baseball Plant, is endemic to the Great Karoo region of South Africa. Unsustainable harvesting by plant collectors who value Euphorbia obesa for its interesting and curious appearance has severely impacted wild populations. Consequently, national and international legislation have been enacted to protect remaining populations. While Euphorbia obesa remains endangered in its native habitat, it has become very common in cultivation. By growing large numbers of Euphorbia obesa, nurseries and botanical gardens have been working to ensure that specimens being traded and sold among plant collectors are not obtained from the wild.

Amorphophallus titanum: the Corpse Flower

A flower taller than a man, stinking strongly of putrefying roadkill and colored deep burgundy to mimic rotting flesh, sounds like something from a low-budget science fiction movie. But Indonesia's titan arum—or "corpse flower," as known by locals—is a real, if rare, phenomenon, pollinated in the wild by carrion-seeking insects. This Indonesian plant, called titan arum or amorphophallus titanium, has the world's biggest inflorescence. Due to its fragrance, which is reminiscent of the smell of a decomposing mammal, the Titan Arum is also known as a carrion flower, the "Corpse flower", or "Corpse plant".

Baobab: the Bottle Tree

Baobab is the common name of a genus (Adansonia) containing eight species of trees, native to Madagascar, mainland Africa and Australia. Also known as the Bottle Tree, not only do they look like bottles, but the trees typically store around 300 liters of water! No wonder why they often live over 500 years!

Dracaena cinnabari: the Dragon Blood Tree

Dracaena Cinnabari is a Dragon Tree native to the Socotra archipelago. It is also referred to as the Dragon Blood Tree and Socotra Dragon Tree. It is one of the most striking of Socotra's plants, a strange-looking, umbrella-shaped tree. It was first formally described by Isaac Bayley Balfour in 1882. A miniature Icon of this tree is in Windows as Network-Icon. Its red sap was the dragon's blood of the ancients, sought after as a medicine and a dye.

Mimosa púdica: the Shy Plant

Mimosa Pudica (pudica = shy), or the Sensitive Plant, has a curiosity value: the compound leaves fold inward and droop when touched or shaken, re-opening within minutes. The species is native to South America and Central America, but is now a pantropical weed. Who would know that plants have feelings too?

Selaginella lepidophylla: the Resurrection Plant

Also known as Rose of Jericho, the Selaginella Lepidophylla is a species of desert plant noted for its ability to survive almost complete desiccation; during dry weather in its native habitat, its stems curl into a tight ball and uncurl when exposed to moisture. It is native to the Chihuahuan Desert.


posted on Sep, 23 2009 @ 11:29 PM
Personally i found alot of these really really cool. My favorite is the shy plant, just think it would be awesome to have one of those n the house
i could see myself not being able to walk by it without touching it lol.

anyway enjoy

posted on Sep, 23 2009 @ 11:34 PM
I always Love your posts. Fantastic.
Good break from all the drama. Plus I actually feel like I learn something useful.

Star and flag.

posted on Sep, 23 2009 @ 11:36 PM
reply to post by Demoncreeper

actually im looking for more things to add to this post, there was another site with a bunch more really cool plants, if i find them ill add them

posted on Sep, 23 2009 @ 11:38 PM
Very, very cool thread!! We actually have the sensitive plant here in Louisiana. I grew up messing with it to get it to close up.

posted on Sep, 23 2009 @ 11:45 PM
Wow, awesome! I would LOVE to have a garden bed full of that dancing grass!

I found some another site with some strange plants also!

Another top 10

[edit on 23-9-2009 by LeTan]

posted on Sep, 23 2009 @ 11:50 PM
reply to post by phi1618

Thanks phi, I enjoyed that. I think bottle tree was my favorite. How odd that such wonders don't get shared more often.

posted on Sep, 23 2009 @ 11:55 PM
reply to post by jennybee35

sadly non of them around the NY area
so i have personally never seen or touched one. One day however i hope to

posted on Sep, 23 2009 @ 11:58 PM
Those sensitive plants were all over the place when I lived in Hawaii. We considered them a weed sorta... they had thorns and were not too pleasant to step on so people made an effort to pull them as they found 'em. I actually had one as a potted plant a few years before I moved to Hawaii. Neat plant though!

posted on Sep, 24 2009 @ 12:05 AM
Out of that list I was only aware of 2. Thank you very much for sharing.

posted on Sep, 24 2009 @ 12:12 AM
I used to have a venus fly trap. I named him Narthaniel Buckner, I hand fed him flies. We were quite a team.

very interesting post, thank you.

posted on Sep, 24 2009 @ 12:13 AM
reply to post by IntastellaBurst

haha thats pretty funny
did you catch the flies by hand lol?

posted on Sep, 24 2009 @ 12:41 AM
reply to post by phi1618

I used a fly swatter, then placed them in his eager mouth. We would stay up late and watch Swamp Thing. Though we enjoyed it, .. Narthanial insisted such a story line was ludicrous.

posted on Sep, 24 2009 @ 01:42 AM
Cannabis is the only plant that shows its sex (male/female).

posted on Sep, 24 2009 @ 02:36 AM
We got piles of sensitive plants here. They're treated as weeds.

posted on Sep, 24 2009 @ 08:22 AM
thank you phi, that was truly interesting and a great break
from all the political crapola! I love plants and would be
happy to die and come back as a botanist. nature holds
endless fascination for me. So much to learn.

posted on Sep, 24 2009 @ 08:42 AM
Hehe I see you have been reading oddee again
Oh how I love that site!! Very neat plants for sure! S&F!

posted on Sep, 24 2009 @ 08:45 AM
The Dragon Blood Tree is my favorite! What a really amazing tree. I would love to go there. I know place has a lot of "alien" type plants and trees.

posted on Sep, 24 2009 @ 12:44 PM
reply to post by Unregistered

ones mans trash is another mans treasure

posted on Sep, 24 2009 @ 01:03 PM
reply to post by phi1618

Very nice!

I thought the largest flower was Victoria regia AKA V. amazonica.

P.S. Sorry, it's the *leaf* that is so large.

[edit on 24-9-2009 by Ethereal Gargoyle]

[edit on 24-9-2009 by Ethereal Gargoyle]

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