Nope. Those aren’t Mick Jagger’s lips Photoshopped onto a plant. Believe it or not, this is a real plant affectionately called Hooker’s Lips for the flowers that look like large, luscious red lips. Known scientifically as Psychotria elata, these low-growing trees or shrubs can be found in tropical places like Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia, particularly in areas that tend to get a lot of rainfall.
Those red lips are commonly called flowers, but they are actually leaf-like bracts. And just like a hooker would wear bright red lipstick to attract potential clients, those red hot lips on the plant attract pollinators, such as hummingbirds and butterflies to the small, white flowers that grow inside the large bracts. The fruits are oval berries that turn blue or black when mature.
Unfortunately, we may have to kiss the plant goodbye if we don’t change our habits! The Psychotria elata may be threatened in the wild due to deforestation in their natural habitat and an increased in popularity with plant collectors.
Other Weird & Wacky Plants:
- Monkey Orchid: The Flower that Looks like a Monkey! (funflowerfacts.com)
- The World’s Shiniest Plant, The Pollia Condensata (funflowerfacts.com)
- Mimosa Pudica, the Plant that Likes to Play Dead (funflowerfacts.com)
- The Ghost Plant (funflowerfacts.com)