Despite the fact that when we think of plants the first thing that comes to mind are trees and herbs, the plant world is one of the richest that we can find in the biology of our planet. In fact, beyond the plants that we can consider as the most “normal”, there is a whole world of very strange species that, at first glance, can seem to be taken from a horror movie because of their shapes and colors.
These types of plants are characterized by not producing photosynthesis by themselves , which means that they have to absorb nutrients and energy from other plants, which they parasitize in order to survive . Some of the most striking examples are the following:
It is a plant that is practically limited to a flower that has a diameter greater than 100 cm and that can weigh more than 10 kg. It has no stem and hardly any roots. Its most striking feature is that it is a parasitic plant. Lacking roots and leaves, it gets its nutrients and energy from the tree to which it is attached.
It is a plant that grows underground with the exception of its flower, which arises from the ground and generates a smell of feces to attract pollinating insects in the area, such as beetles. It is a plant that lacks leaves, so it parasitizes the roots of nearby plants and takes from them both the nutrients and the energy it needs.
Without a doubt, when talking about plants that move, everyone will think of sunflowers first , as they are the best known of all. However, there are other plants with mobile capacity that are much less famous but just as interesting:
Also known as always alive, resurrection plant or rose of Jericho . It is an original plant from the Chihuahuan desert. Its main characteristic is its ability to survive drought. To do this, it has the ability to wrap itself around itself and go into “hibernation” mode when it does not have access to water. It can stay in this state for years, and when the rains return, it returns to its normal appearance and metabolism.
Also known as sensitive mimosa or simply mimosa. It is characterized by the fact that its leaves close when it feels the contact of an animal or other mobile object. This is done to protect itself from possible attacks. After a few minutes, the sheets return to their original state as if nothing had happened.
Although they are not strictly speaking plants, it is worth including them in this list of the rarest plants in the world and their names . In this case, the strangeness of these trees comes mainly from their large size, which stands out above any other type of tree that we are used to seeing in our daily lives:
It is better known as the giant sequoia and is considered the tallest and largest tree in the world, which also makes it the largest vegetable. These North American trees reach heights ranging from 50 meters to 85 meters in the largest cases, and their trunks can reach up to 7 meters in diameter. These are trees that take a long time to grow. In fact, the youngest specimens do not produce seeds until they are 20 years old, which makes their reproduction considerably difficult. In the photo below we can see sequoias and appreciate the size comparing them to a person and a dog.
Better known as baobabs , it is a giant tree that grows in Africa. It is characterized by having a very thick trunk that grows normally in a vertical direction but, at the end of this, a multitude of much narrower branches extend that seem disproportionate to the rest of its body.
There are a wide variety of carnivorous plants and, without a doubt, they are one of the strangest types of plants that we can find in nature. Although the Venus flytrap is the most famous of them, we can also find some much less known examples:
It is a carnivorous plant that, in addition to feeding on insects, has the characteristic of growing on the surface of stagnant or very calm waters. Each of its leaves ends in a web with a series of villi that act as sensors and, when an insect touches them, the trap is activated by capturing it.
It is better known as the Australian jug. It is characterized because, unlike what happens with other carnivorous plants, in this case the trap does not grow from a leaf, but is an independent organ. The trap is shaped like an elongated vase or sack that, in times of low humidity, is closed so that the digestive fluids do not evaporate. In the photo below we can see a Cephalotus follicularis plant .