The weirdest plants are ones that grow in faraway places like the island of Madagascar off the east.
1. 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, its endangered. Coming from the forests of Sumatra, its 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.
2. 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. This one might have the edge on the corpse flower in wackiness because it is eaten. In one Southeast Asian culture they are grown as a delicacy, while in another they are known as what we might call a last resort to eat.
3. Rafflesia Arnoldis
Guys, I cant 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 is also wacky because it has no stems, leaves, or roots--so its pretty bad at actually being a plant. Its related to fungi, but according to wikipedia, is a plant. It is also commonly referred to as the corpse flower for the smell. Want to find one so you can plant it in your backyard? Me too, however these are extremely hard to find. Scientists arent even sure if theyre endangered or not. They live a majority of their lives as teeny tiny little flowers until they explode into that to the right for a few days.
4. Venus Flytrap
Its 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 dont 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.
Monkeys have been spotted drinking from it. Rats have been spotted partially digested in it. And some other stuff too (no, it doesnt smell like a corpse). These plants come in all sorts of varieties and are predominately found in the same regions as the #1,2, and 3 plants that youve already read about. So if you want to see some interesting plants, go to the Sumatra and Borneo forests. 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. Sound like Im making this all up?
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