Plants are one of the wonderful creations of nature. They differ widely and numerous species are present. Our gardens are always full of flowering and fruiting plants.There is nothing unusual about them. If you think plants are boring, then here are some strange or weird plants that are living proofs to prove you wrong.
Some of the plants live on insects while some bloom into huge flowers and smell like carcass. The world is filled with strange and weird plants. Though they are found through out the world, a large population of weird plants are found in Madagascar. These plants are now finding their way into gardens too, as people want to experiment.
Here are some of the strangest plants species of the world.
1. Selaginella lepidophylla
It is a desert species and native to Chihuahuan desert. It is called the resurrection plant as during dry weather it can survive almost complete dessication. The stems of this plant curl up into tight balls and uncurl when exposed to moisture. It is sold as a novelty in its dry state (brown bare roots), which turns green after wetting. It has medicinal properties too and hence used for treating common cold and sore throat.
2. Dracaena cinnabari
This famous plant from the Socotra island has a very strange appearance. It looks like an upturned densely packed crown in the shape of an upside down umbrella. This evergreen plant is also known as dragons blood as it produces dark red resin. The resin is used as a dye and has medicinal properties.
3. Mimosa pudica
This perennial herb is also known as sensitive plant or the touch me not as its leaves are very sensitive. The leaves respond to various stimulus like touch, warmth, blow or even a shake by closing or folding inwards. It reopens after few minutes. Such movements are called seismonastic movements which result from movement of water in and out of the cell. Though it is a native to South and Central America, it is now pan-tropical.
4. Amorphophallus titanum
This flowering plant from Sumatra has the largest unbranched inflorescence ( flower arrangement on the stem) and can reach up to 3m in height. The dark red flower has the odor of a decomposing mammal and hence, is known as “carrion” or “corpse” flower.
5. Desmodium gyrans
This delicate plant is native to Asia and grows as a shrub. They have to be watered regularly and kept away from direct sunlight. The leaflets of this plant exhibit rotational movement around its axis in response to even the slightest stimuli like touch, warmth, etc. and droop down at night.
6. Rafflesia arnoldii
Rafflesia’s flower is the largest in the world that has no stem, leaves or roots. The diameter of the flower is close to one meter and weighs up to 11kg. This reddish brown parasitic plant is also known as corpse plant due to its bad odor . It is endemic to the rainforest of Sumatra, Bengkulu and Malaysia.
7. Dionaea muscipula
It is a carnivorous plant and the end portion of each leaf forms a structure that acts like a trap. When an insect or an arachnid crawls on the leaf trap lined with hair, it sends a stimulus which leads to closure of the leaf. The insects are digested with the help of the catalytic enzymes secreted by the plant and the nutrients are absorbed.
Drosera, also known as sundew, belong to the largest genera of carnivorous plants. They produce sticky mucilaginous substances on the leaf that attract and trap insects. The insects are then digested and the nutrients from them are absorbed to compensate for the less nutritious soil they grow in.
9. Rat eating plant
There are about 120 pitcher plant species and this is the largest carnivorous pitcher plant. It was first found in Philippines. These shrubs produce acid like enzymes that are capable of dissolving not just insects but rats too.
This is a living fossil. This gymnosperm belongs to a monotypic genus and hence comprises of just one plant Welwitschia mirabilis. It is found only in the Namib desert, Africa. It grows from a short woody trunk, that has a thick tap root.