Thursday, February 2, 2012

8 Amazing Plants

Some of us love plants, others think them rather dull. For those that love plants, these are some of the most unique, odd and fascinating plants around. For those that think them rather dull, this list may just change your view of them.

8. Pitcher Plant

The first on our list is one of the better known carnivorous plants. People think they just eat bugs, but the larger ones will eat frogs, lizards, and even mice, anything that falls in and can't get back out is fair game. The way they trap animals is that the plant has slippery sides, so that when an animal falls in, they can't get back out and are trapped in teh digestive juices of the plant. There are over 120 different species of pitcher plants, all of which are native to Indonesia and South-East Asia

7. Dancing Plant Codariocalyx Motorius

This plant also goes by the name of Desmodium Gyrans, or the common names Dancing Grass, or Telegraph plant. The plant is capable of pretty rapid movement (for a plant), and is native to Asia. Dancing Grass is apparently quite easy to grow, so you could have some in your own garden easily enough!

Here's a video of the plant moving.

6. Venus Fly Trap

Probably the most famous of the carnivorous plants. The Venus Fly trap catches animals by snapping it's leaves shut around the victim. Like the Pitcher Plant, it's diet is not only restricted to insects, but it will east lizards, frogs, etc, anything it can trap between it's leaves. It has tiny hairs on it's leaves that sense when a creature is on it's leaves, if two hairs are triggered at once, the leaves shut around the plants prey.

Here's a video of a Venus Fly Trap catching a fly.

5. Stinking Titan Arum/Corpse Flower (Amorphophallus Titanum)

The Titan Arum is taller than a man, and stinks of rotting flesh. It gets it's nickname (Corpse/Carrion Flower) from the stench it gives off, which smells like rotten mammal. Think roadkill and you'll have a good idea of what this flower smells like. It looks impressive though!

4. Selaginella Lepidophylla

Selaginella Lepidophylla is able to survive being completely desiccated (being dried out). When the weather is dry(even for a desert) it will curl into a tight ball. When rain return, it unfurls and continues to grow. The plant also goes by the name Rose of Jericho.

3. Rafflesia Arnoldii

Another large, putrid smelling flower, the Rafflesia has produced the largest single flower on earth. The flower of this plant can grow to be 3 feet across and can weigh up to 24 pounds. The plant gives of a pungent smell similar to that of rotten flesh. This attracts insects from all around, which pollinate the flower. It is an extremely rare flower, as the flower only blooms every nine months and only lasts for 3-7 days.

2. Welwitschia Mirabilis

This is perhaps the most resilient and rugged plant on earth, and not surprisingly lives in the desert. It has only two leaves, a stem, and roots. The two leaves continually grow and get quite large (as you can see in the picture above) until the leaves are tangled around each other. Apparently the plant tastes pretty good, both raw and cooked.

1. Sundew(Drosera)

The last plant in this list is another carnivorous plant, one that is found throughout the world. The sundew plant attracts insects and other bugs with little beads of what the bug perceives to be nectar. This "nectar" is actually glue, that stick to the plants prey. Once the insect is stuck, the arms close in on the prey and start digesting it with enzymes.

Here's a video of a species of Sundew eating a fly.


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