19 Most Exotic Plants in the World
While plants don’t often have a reputation for being exciting, here are 19’ that will leave you wondering why you thought they were so boring in the first place!
1. Venus Fly Trap
First off, this is a carnivorous plant that eats live bugs by trapping them and then dissolving them in digestive fluid. The trap opens its “mouths” that close when hairs on the inside are triggered by a curious bug. Note how the inside of the trap is red to attract bugs, leading them to their doom.
2. Pitcher Plants
another carnivorous plant, the pitcher plant lets gravity do all of the work. These pitchers fill up with water and when bugs, spiders, or small lizards try to go inside for the sweet nectar they contain, they slip into the water and drown. The pitcher plant then digests the remains and soaks up the nutrients.
3. Cape Sundew
This plants also likes its meat. There aren’t any real tricks with this plant, though, just lots of sticky nectar that traps bugs. The plant has lots of little hairs covered in sticky nectar and once a bug has become stuck, the plant will wrap its tendrils around the bug and eat its victim alive!
4. Strangler Fig
The Strengler fig is the serial killer of the plant world. It will latch on to a tree and slowly sap all of its strength until the tree eventually dies. These plants can grow up onto a tree from the ground, or down if they happen to land in a tree’s canopy, making them a versatile killer to boot.
5. Bear’s Head Teeth Mushroom
While it looks like a piece of coral, or a relative of one of the muppets, believe it or not, this plant is actually a mushroom. While you may think we put it on the list just because it looks weird, it actually contains chemicals that help fight melanoma, can help grow nerve connections, and that can kill roundworms.
6. Witches’ Butter
While it may just look like yellow goop growing on a dead tree, witches’ butter is actually being actively studied for its health benefits. Scientists haven’t come to any conclusions yet, but they have determined that it is edible and that it has absolutely no taste! All you need if you’re starving in the woods is a little salt and you’ll have a feast.
7. Hammer Orchid
This plant made its way onto our list because of its unique way of pollinating. It grows a flower that looks like a female wasp and when a male wasp comes and tries to mate with it, he gets covered in pollen. Then, when he goes to another hammer orchid to try and mate with the flower on it, he pollinates it, allowing it to reproduce.
8. Silver Torch Cactus
This cactus looks like a hairy cousing of other cacti and has bright flowers that set it apart from others. It is on our list because it doesn’t like the desert, unlike most other cacti! It actually prefers cool climates and thrives in mountains, not deserts.
9. Dragon’s Blood Tree
The reason this plant got its name is because the sap from the tree is a deep red color that reminded locals of dragon blood. The tree itself looks like a weird mushroom or piece of broccoli and has been valued for its sap’s mythical powers since ancient times.
In the world of weird, it doesn’t get much weirder than this ancient plant. It growns in the desert and is a distant relative of pine and fir trees. The weird thing about this plant is that it can only grow two leaves no matter how old it gets, but conserving its energy must pay off because some specimen has been known to live up to 2,000 years!
This plant looks like it is a distant relative of the Sarlac from Star Wars. The plant looks like it has a mouth and teeth to help hang on to its prey but the part that you see here is actually only the flower of the plant. The rest of the plant stays underground and produces a fruit that tastes almot exactly like a potato!
This plant is so small that many people would need a microscope to see one. The cool thing about these plants other than their size is that they reproduce exceptionally quickly, sometimes their population can double in just one day!
These flowers are cool because they are masters of disguise. To protect themselves from predators, they grow to look like rocks! See if you can pick any of them out in the picture, they’re actually all Lithops if you can believe it!
14. Victoria Amazonica
These water lilies grow to have huge leaves, some of which can be up to 3 meters! They look like plates because the sides naturally fold up so that the lilies don’t grow over others. Believe it or not, they grow big and strong enough the be able to support a small child!
15. Dragon Arum
This flower is unique in that it only pollinates one day a year and on that day it smells like rotten meat. The smell if the flower’s mechanism for enticing flies to come and pollinate the flower. But don’t you go near it! This plant is actually poisonous!
16. African Acacia
This plant is a signature tree on the African savannah but it actually has killed quite a few animals because its leaves are toxic. Giraffes and other wild animals will eat the leaves in small amounts if they are hungry, but in large doses these leave are fatal. They also house dangerous ant that protect the tree from smaller animals that might want to try eating some of the tree’s leaves.
Ever wonder what it would be like to be a pirate? These plants may have thing or two to teach you! They float on the top of the water when the flower and then, when they have finished flowering, they use air pockets in their roots to push air out so they can submerse and feed on small insects in the water. They float to the bottom of the body of water and use a vacuum hose to suck the small insects in!
18. Corpse Flower
This plant, as you may have guessed, smells like a rotting corpse. The flower is an endangered species partially because it is still predated on despite the smell and partially because it only grows naturally in Sumatran jungles. These plants are heavy too, they can weight over 100 and up to 200 pounds!
19. Elephant-foot Yam
This flower is actually a close relative of the corpse flower and smells very similar to it. It has a different structure though and different colors than its relative. Unlike the corpse flower, it is not endangered and is eaten as a delicacy in many cultures.