Well we all know the world of flowers and plants is a beautiful place. But is it always? While searching for topics for my blogs I came upon some pictures that gave me the impression otherwise. Today I learned, that while all flowers are unique. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
I decided I absolutely had to share my findings:
We start off with, the Bleeding Tooth Fungus
Also known as Strawberries and cream and the red juice tooth. Enough said.
Next we have Chinese Black Bat flowers;
it is kept as an ornamental plant by gardeners who prefer to cultivate nightmares. Their dangling fruit even looks like bats sleeping upside down.
And we follow with: Dolls Eye. Also known by the equally unsettling name “White Baneberry” and just in case you were thinking of eating them, these eyeballs are highly poisonous.
Two very similar scary plants, we have the Sea Anemone Mushroom, and the similar, yet horrifying in a different way, Octopus Stinkhorn. While some mushrooms are tasty and even cute, don’t let these ones fool you. The octopus stinkhorn starts off as a fairly normal looking mushroom and just as it gains your trust it sprouts smelly red tentacles of horror, to attract flies.
Next up: The Devils Claw, These are kind of like the little thistles you can get stuck to your clothes while walking through a field, except instead of being tiny and mildly annoying. The Devils Claw is Large and slightly scary. In Arizona, where these claws come from, they are used by the Native Americans’ to weave baskets. The horrifying seed pods are designed to grab on to the feet of any animal unfortunate enough to pass by, which will then transport them to another location before crushing them and releasing the seeds. So not only are these plants scary, they are smart too!
And now we come upon the Porcupine Tomato, This little Horror stems from Madagascar, the island nation that brought us the Hell beast Lemur and Dracula ants. Besides being sharp and poisonous, it is a potentially invasive species of plant, since it is almost impossible to kill, even in a drought. It spreads fast, it can reach 8 feet tall by 8 feet wide in a relatively short amount of time. You never know where this toxic razor filled hedge will spring up overnight.
Coming next we have the Chinese Fleece Flower. Now this is amazing. The Chinese use this plant in traditional medicine for kidneys, strong bones and hair restoration. One would think the look of this root was a rare one time occurrence but no. the species typically looks like little people.
Our next interesting plant isn’t as horror inducing until you hear what it is used for. The Chinese lantern plant. The flowers of this plant look like a delicate paper lantern. Now when the flower dries and the covering goes away it looks more like a berry encased in a skeleton like covering. The scary part, and coincidentally this skeletal flower is used by Japanese to help guide the souls of the dead.
Now comes, the Bat Face Cuphea, named for its resemblance to a bat. The dark purple is the face and the red lobes are the ears. While these shrubs may look like scary bats, they are very welcome, as they thrive in heat, tolerate drought and attract Bees and hummingbirds.
Lastly, and the most popular and well known: The Venus Flytrap. It is probably one of the best known insect eating plants in the world. The carnivorous plants features are so distinct; they have even had starring roles in some horror movies. The “jaws” of this plant, actually the leaves, they snap shut in less than a second engulfing the fly and killing it.
And so there you have, it some of the most terrifying plants I’ve come across while researching blogs.
But I guess as Gardeners and Flower and Plant Lovers, we can appreciate the beauty that comes with all the plants and flowers we grow…or can we?