Friday, October 26, 2007
By: Midori NakamuraPlants 1-4 (Plants 5-8)
Weird is relative. What seems weird to me might not seem weird to you. In the plant kingdom, however, there are definitely some species that most people would acknowledge are highly unusual. In the wack spirit of Halloween, some of my findings follow.
1. Rafflesia arnoldii: this parasitic plant develops the world's largest bloom that can grow over three feet across. The flower is a fleshy color, with spots that make it look like a teenager's acne-ridden skin. It smells bad and has a hole in the center that holds six or seven quarts of water. The plant has no leaves, stems, or roots.
2. Hydnora africana, an unusual flesh-colored, parasitic flower that attacks the nearby roots of shrubby in arid deserts of South Africa. The putrid-smelling blossom attracts herds of carrion beetles.
3. Dracunculus vulgaris: smells like rotting flesh, and has a burgundy-colored, leaf-like flower that projects a slender, black appendage.
4. Amorphophallus: means, literally, "shapeless penis." The name comes from the shape of the erect black spadix.
Posted by gjblass at 10:39 AM