. 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
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 w
. 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 backyar
. 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 a
. 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 rig
. Like I mentioned before, there are more carnivorous plants out there than you probably realized (more than I realized, anyway). 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
. The Strangler Fig is the biggest mooch of the plant kingdom. Not only does it mooch, it kills. There are many different species of Strangler Fig, but they all are basically the same thing: that roommate who steals all of your food. Or that guy at a party who steals all of your beer. Or that guy in class that copied your homework and got a better grade. Only he kills you (could be a her, Im not sure). Anyway, they are dispersed usually by hitch hi
Bears Head Tooth Mushroom
. Well just look at it. Thats a mushroom. If youre not convinced that it should be on this list... it also fights cancer, stimulates nerve growth, and helps kill roundworms. How do we know? Well some really brave soul found out it was edible. Cydro still wouldnt put it on his sandwiches no matter what it does. Oh yeah, it can grow branches too. Im not sure how they came up with the name though. Looks more like a brand new mop to me.
. Well, I thought it looked funny. It also reproduces by both sexual and asexual production. If you do happen to try to eat it, youll 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.
. Well, it pollinates in a unique way. Does that red thing on the side look like it belongs there? When you look even closer, whats that black thing on top of the red thing? Well, youll 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 gly
Silver Torch Cactus
. Besides having one of the coolest names on the list, it is a very unusual cactus. Its wooly, but that isnt too spectacular. It grows flowers, but that definitely isnt too unusual. The way the flowers are shaped are unique (yes those are flowers), however other cacti flowers bloom in a similar way just not as horizontally. The thing that makes it the wackiest is that it prefers cold temperatures. It can stand frosts up to -10 degrees Celsius. It l
Dragons Blood Tree
. Man, I wish I had a name like that. Dragons blood guy, I can see it now. Also one of the coolest looking trees on the countdown. Thirdly, its sap resembles dragons blood. That means its a deep red color, and it was prized among the ancients. It can be used for stimulants and toothpaste of all things. Luckily it survived thousands of years of everyone trying to collect it, which is saying a lot since it is only found on the island of Socotra.The c
. It is considered a living fossil found in the deserts of Namibia and Angola. Thats not enough for this countdown though. It is unique in that it has one very short trunk and grows two leaves (only two) from the trunk no matter how mature it is. Oh yeah, and carbon dating tells us that theyre anywhere from 500-2000 years old (and maybe older). So the one pictured to the right will probably be alive when your great-great-great grand kids are alive.
. This looks like it could be found on a different planet in a sci-fi movie. Then again, what science fiction writer could create such a monster? This grows completely underground except for the flower (flower) that has such a distinct shape. It is shaped like that in order to maximize the ability for hairs on the flower to direct beetles to its unpleasant center. Why would beetles want to go near that? Well, because it smells like poop. The dung b
. Wow theyre small! In fact, theyre the worlds smallest flowering plant! How small are they? Well Step 1) FInd an o on this page. Step 2) Imagine two specks inside that o. Two adult Wolffias could fit inside of that o! Also, if you looked back in 30-36 hours, there might be four of them! They reproduce really fast. One more thing: they dont even have leaves or stems. So theyre being discovered just about everywhere now that scientists know what the
. Some plants use toxins to avoid being eaten. Some use thorns, or turn into carnivores. The Lithops Julli survives by pretending to be a rock. If youre into picking up rocks in South Africa, chances are youll pick one of these up, too. The disguise seems useless because theyre flowering plants. Nope, even the flowers are disguised with abstract lines and colors. The colors of everything about the plant are atypical for this very reason.
. These guys have some pretty amazing features. And they grow up to three meters across! The ends fold up to avoid overlapping with their brethren. Also, the undersides are very thorny to protects against being eaten. Their flowers are huge, beautiful, and can only be seen at night. The flowers also change color over the course of the lilys lifetime. If you see them at daybreak you can watch the flowers close up rather quickly. Lastly, if you googl
. Okay, so I promised to not mention any more plants that smell like a corpse. This one only does it for a day, and it has been described as more of a rotting smell, so does that count? Anyway, it smells to attract flies which in turn pollinate it. This one is peculiar because it is found in Europe, not Southeast Asia.
. That tree looks normal. I think I saw it on The Lion King. Well, it is from the African savannah. It is also a mass murderer. Van Hoven made his discovery when asked to investigate the sudden death of some 3000 South African antelope, called kudu, on game ranches in the Transvaal. He noticed that giraffe, roaming freely, browsed only on one acacia tree in ten, avoiding those trees which were downwind. Source. The tree, when it is being eaten, giv
. This one is one of the wackiest. It is found in many different varieties around the southeastern coast of the United States and then also in the state of Washington. What makes it so unique? Well, it uses little air sacs to float when it is flowering. When it isnt flowering, it stays underwater like a seasonal submarine. Also, it is a carnivore. It eats tiny little invertebrates that it sucks into its pods with a vacuum. Beat that, Venus Flytrap.
. Skunk Cabbage is a huge, foul smelling North American member of the Aurum family. Native to swamps, the odor of the plant is often mistaken for an irate skunk until the huge golden or purplish flowers are seen emerging from the leaves. The appearance of the plant is like an alien artifact. Although certain parts of the Skunk Cabbage were found to be edible by Native Americans, it should be known that death from severe calcium oxalate poisoning ma
. Buttercup is by far the most innocent looking plant on this list. It is also one of the most ubiquitous, and among the more deadly garden plants. Buttercup commonly grows in grassy patches with poor drainage, and may frequently be found by children who use it in games that involve touching it to the skin. The goal is to experience a momentary red mark on the skin, as the brilliant yellow flowers release a toxin induces temporary rash symptoms. Bu
. Giant Hogweed is truly the plant of nightmares. While many plants are toxic by ingestion, Giant Hogweed causes horrendous damage to humans just by mere skin contact. Looking like an emergence from an alien planet, the Giant Hogweed can only destroy a human through cooperation with an extra-terrestrial body
. In the shire like Oak woodlands of Western North America, edible bulbs known as Camas plants dot the meadows with their bright flowers. First Nations actively cultivated the fields through scheduled burning, producing the potato-like food as a principle source of starch. However, a closely related species exists that looks similar to edible Camas. With a name like Toxicoscordion venenosum, it is immediately clear that this is one of the most toxi
. The spectacular Angel Trumpet vine is native to the forests of South America, and delivers a dark triad of potent toxins
. Himalayan Blackberry is one plant you don
New Zealand Tree Nettle
. The New Zealand Tree Nettle is one of only two plants in the world that has killed a human just by the unfortunate act of walking into it. The monster plant is an enormous and super toxic tree version of the common stinging nettle, and may grow up to 15 feet tall. The well camouflaged plant is armed with unusually large needles that deliver a potentially lethal and also corrosive neurotoxin upon the slightest contact. Great caution when hiking is
. While Giant Hogweed scares with its alien appearance, we look at an unassuming plant with small, glossy leaves that may be commonly found in ornamental gardens and public grounds. Spurge Laurel is closely related to the Bay Leaf, but this woody mini-shrub offers one of the dreadful deaths in the Plant Kingdom. Containing powerful biocides, Spurge Laurel will cause blistering and irritation if cut or handled carelessly, but it is internally that i
. Its not pretty to look at, but Namibias 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. Thats 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
. 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 its also threatened. The plants 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.
. 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 com
. 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 Indonesias titan arum
. 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 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 Socotras 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 dragons blood of the ancients, sought after as a medicine and a dye.
. 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?
. 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.
Chinese Black Batflowers
. Theres a good reason that Batman uses bat imagery to strike terror into the hearts of Gothams criminals, rather than, say, some kind of shrew. Bats are freakin scary. For the same reason, nature has decided to use that same mold to make plants that can induce spontaneous bowel movements, with the addition of some tentacles just to be sure, like we have on the Chinese black batflowers.
Bleeding Tooth Fungus
. While fungi are not actually plants, this was so peculiar we decided to include it. According to the University of Guelph in Ontario, the bleeding tooth fungus, or Hydnellum peckii, is an inedible mushroom commonly found under conifers. This mushroom gets its name from the fact that when young, it secretes droplets of a of red substance that looks eerily like blood.
. Most of us have eaten figs, in large part due to the popularity of a certain cookie, so what is so strange about them? How about the fact that they digest wasps? According to the U.S. Forest Service, a number of figs are pollinated by wasps that are born and die within fig fruit. The males live out the entirety of their short lives in one fig, the female wasps fly to another tree deposit eggs, and die inside that fig. Fortunately, howstuffworks.c
Touch Me Not
. While it looks like just another wildflower, what makes the Mimosa pudica, or Touch-Me-Not, so unusual is that the plant will actually close in on itself when something comes in contact with it, says Dr. Ombrello of the Union City College Biology Department, literally seeming to shrivel up when touched.
Castor Oil Plant
. One of the most poisonous plants on the face of the Earth is not only found everywhere, but was once actually force fed to children on a regular basis as punishment for misbehaving. According to io9.com, the Ricinus communis, or Castor Oil plant, is listed by Guinness as the deadliest plant on the planet due the fact that its seeds contain the toxin ricin.