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12 Strange and Talented Plants

Nature provides us with endless entertainment. Upon exploring caves, deserts, and forests, scientists have documented sights that look as if they came out of a science fiction movie. The strange and wacky ways plants protect themselves shows you how talented Mother Nature's creations can be. These extraordinary plants are stealthy, creative and very different from the garden variety you’re used to seeing. 

 
1. The Corpse Flower
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This rare 200 pound plant grows in the forests of Sumatra and is famous for its rotting corpse-like stench. While this plant looks like one giant flower, it’s actually comprised of thousands of small flowers, male and female. 

 

2. Strangler Figs
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This is a killer tree that grows up and down other trees, choking them of sunlight and stealing their nutrients. The host tree often dies and the strangler remains with a hollow center. 

 
3. Lithops Julli
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This southern African plant is colloquially called a pebble plant or living stone because it pretends to be a rock to avoid being eaten. Some species also produce small flowers.  

 

4. Bear's Head Tooth Mushroom
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This mop-head like mushroom grows on dead or dying tree trunks. It’s also edible and can stimulate nerve growth, help kill roundworms and fight cancerous cells.

 
5. Wolffia Anguste
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Known as Watermeal or Duckweed, this free floating aquatic plant produces the world's smallest flower. It has no stem or leaves and produces flowers speedily, usually within 30-36 hours.

 

6. Elephant Foot Yam
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A relative of the Corpse Plant, this plant is also renowned for its rotting corpse-like smell. Unlike the corpse plant, the Elephant Foot Yam is considered a delicacy in many parts of Southeast Asia where it is grown as a crop.

 

7. Welwitschia
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Indigenous to the Namib Desert, this plant is considered a "living fossil" and reaches ages between 500-2000 years old. It has a short trunk and only produces two leaves.

 

8. Dragon's Blood Tree
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Unique to the islands of Socotra in Yemen, this tree got its name from its sap, which is said to resemble Dragon's blood. The sap is used to make stimulants and toothpaste. The trees tend to huddle together to give their roots shade.
 
 
9. Hydnora Africana
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This strange looking plant grows underground with only its flower popping out of the ground. Its unique form is designed to attract dung beetles to its poop-like smelling center, and help with pollination. 

 
10. Witches' Butter
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This edible fungi grows on fallen or dead trees, and while it’s edible it has no taste. This fungus can reproduce by both sexual and asexual reproduction. It's also called Yellow Brain or Golden Jelly Fungus. 

 
11. Rafflesia Arnoldis
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Another putrid breed, this distinct flower is the world's largest single flower without a stem, leaves or roots. Scientists have found it difficult to study because they spend most of their lives as small plants and transform into their unique form for only a few days.

 

12. Victoria Amazonica
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These large lily pads look rather like plates and can support up to 45 kg in weight. You'll notice the ends turn upwards, this is to avoid overlapping with other pads. They are thorny underneath to protect themselves from being eaten.

H/T: cydro.hubpages.com

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Related Topics: nature, plants, flowers, trees, weird
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