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12 Most Exotic Plants in the World

by DrPrem Jagyasi

Nature has given us some pretty strange looking plants. But no one can explain the uniqueness some plants offer. These plants have been known to be anywhere from mesmerizingly beautiful to extremely terrifying. Nevertheless, it is their strangeness has made these plants some of the most exotic flora on earth.

Welwitscha Mirabilis

Found in Namibia, the Welwitscha Mirabilis (aka Onyanga) is considered as the most resistant plant on earth. It has only leaves that sprout from a sturdy stem. These leaves keep on growing until they start dragging on the floor, giving the plant an eerie look. The Welwitscha Mirabilis has a lifespan of between 400 and 1500 years, and can live for almost 5 years without rain.


Also called as the Waterwheel Plant, the AldrovandaVesiculosa is an aquatic plant which resembles a wheel in appearance. Floating on the water, the waterwheel plant is a cousin of the Venus Flytrap, and uses the same mechanism to capture its prey.

Mimosa Pudica

You would have probably heard about the Mimosa Pudica, aka the shy plant that curls up its leaves when touched, with the leaves opening automatically after just a few minutes. The plant is native to Central and South America, with no one knowing the exact reason as to why the plant responds the way it does to touch or vibrations.

Euphoria Obesa

The Baseball Plant as it is so called can be found in South Africa although recent practices of unsustainable harvesting have pushed the plant to near extinction. Resembling a large sized baseball in appearance, the Euphoria Obesa is now being grown in a number of botanical gardens and nurseries across the county to prevent extinction.


The world’s largest flower, the size of the RafflesiaArnoldii will astound you for sure. Rust colored and speckled in appearance, this very rare flower can grow to be 3 feet across and can weigh at least 24 pounds. Blooming once in nine months or so, the flowers blossoms die within a week. It may be hard to get near the flower though, thanks to the offensive ‘rotting meat’ like odor that it gives off. This smell is what earned the RafflesiaArnoldii another name in Indonesia; the Corpse Plant.


Speaking of corpse plants, let’s take a look at a flower that is actually called a Corpse Flower. This rare flower is burgundy in color and can grow to become taller than a human being. However, it is the extremely putrefying smell it gives out that earns it its name. You will be advised to stay away from the plant lest you want to choke on the smell of decomposing meat.

Dionaea Muscipula

AKA, the Venus Flytrap, the Dionaea Muscipula is a one of a kind insectivorous plant that traps unsuspecting insects with the help of its hinged leaves. The two leaves are lined with fine hairs which are ultra-sensitive to movement. Anything that triggers these hairs will be caught in the trap which closes within a second.

Nepenthes Attenboroughii

The Nepenthes Attenboroughii aka the Pitcher Plant is another insectivorous plant that can even eat rodents. Considered as the weirdest carnivorous plant on earth, it is also deemed to be the biggest meat eating plant on earth. Don’t get too close to it lest you want to be mistaken for a rat and caught for dinner.


This plant goes by another name; parachute flower. And there is no guessing as to why it got that name. The parachute flower contains fused petals along with a long, hairy shaft or tube which gives it the appearance of a miniature parachute. The hairs in the shaft are used to trap insects for pollination.


Ever heard of the Bottle Tree? They can be found in large quantities in Madagascar, Australia and mainland Africa. The trees earn their name owing to their unique appearance like bottles. The trees live up to 500 years and can store at least 300 liters of water with ease.

Hydnora Africana

This has without doubt got to be the most hideous plant on earth. It is reddish brown in color and rises off the ground like the head of a gigantic eel rushing at its prey with open jaws. It matches its looks with a putrefying smell which is used to invite pollinators like carrion and dung beetles.

Dracaena Cinnabari

The Dragon Blood tree can be found in the Socotra Archipelago. Aka the Socotra Dragon Tree, the tree features a rather strange umbrella like shape with a single trunk that branches into a canopy of small stems and leaves. The red sap oozing from the tree was used as a medicine and dye in ancient times.


The dancing plant as it is so called responds to vibrations and sunlight by dancing. Also called as the telegraph plant, the dancing plant features leaves with hinges attached to a base. These hinges allow the leaflets to rotate in an elliptical path, giving off the impression of a jerky action to the viewer.




There are many beautiful looking plants on earth. And then, there are some rather strange plants on earth as well. These strange plants revel in their uniqueness and will have to be seen to be believed in.