Mother Nature’s Strange Creations
Mother Nature’s Strange Creations

With more than 250,000 species the plant kingdom is full of weird and wonderful varieties. Evolution has created some particularly strange and unusual species that are defiantly worth exploring.

Amorphophallus titanium - Titan Arum

Sir David Attenborough invented the name Titan Arum after capturing its flowering on film for his BBC TV series The Private Life of Plants. Titan Arum is coveted by collectors and plant enthusiasts around the world.

Native to Indonesia, this magnificent species flowers just once every six or seven years, and during this time it lets out an odour which some people claim smells of rotting meat.  The bloom of this spectacular plant lasts only one or two days so I suppose it is not surprising that there has been only 150 recorded blooming.

It produces umbrella-sized petals which open to a diameter of three to four feet and its distinctive smell can be detected from half a mile away. The odour, which is usually strongest at night, is meant to attract pollinators such as carrion beetles and flesh flies.

Twelve of them are housed at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in the Princess of Wales Conservatory among hundreds of other tropical plants.

Rafflesia arnoldii - World's Largest Flower

As exotic and rare as this plant may be you would not likely want to grow it anywhere near your garden, besides the fact that it grows to a whopping 3 feet and weighs between 15 to 24 pounds, it also  gives off the most offensive odor when it blooms.

Just like the titan Arum it is also indigenous to Indonesia and will only grow in rainforest type environment.

Rafflesia Arnoldii has recently been assigned to the Euphorbiaceae family and not  particularly pretty plant.

Lithops – Living Stone Plants

Lithops is a succulant plant native to the hot, dry regions of southern Africa. In ancient Greek, Lithos means stone and ops means like...therefore, 'stone-like.'

Lithops are found in n various shades of brown, grey and cream with dark patterns and red lines.

Surprisingly Lithops are easily grown with good ventilation, sufficient sunlight and a bit of drought between watering.

Hydnora Africana – Jackal Food

Hydnora africana is a parasitic plant on species of the genus Euphorbia. It has such an unusual physical appearance that one would never say it is a plant. The plant body is completely leafless, void of chlorophyll and is brown-grey.

Hydnora is found in the dry and semi-arid parts of the Succulent Karoo, Little Karoo, Eastern Cape Karoo, and the dry coastal thickets between the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. Although there are no recorded details the fruit of Hydnora africana is said to be a traditional Khoi food.

The fruits, known as "jackal fruits" because jackals will readily consume them, are also enjoyed by people, particularly after they have been roasted over a fire.

Victoria amazonica – The Great Water Lily

The Giant Water Lily grows in the shallow waters of the Amazon River basin, as well as bayous and specific lakes in Brazil. The most interesting thing about this plant is the leaves which grow up to 46 centimeters in size and can hold up to 136 kilograms.

The Giant Water Lily adapts to the environment by growing thorns on the bottom of the leaves to protect itself from fishes and other predator that might want to eat it. Another adaptation is the rim around the edges of the leaves. These rims help protect the leaf from birds and insects that might want to eat the leaves.

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