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Spooky season is upon us, and sure, some of our plants' behaviour do make them seem like monsters at times, but here're some of THE creepiest plants in our books.
Coming in at #5 – The Cuscuta or Strangle Tare. With a name like that, it already sounds like the infamous Boston Strangler. And that is exactly what it does.
While looking like a tangled mess of overgrown grass, it may not be harmful to people, but it sure is scary to plants. It's a parasitic plant that will leech the life out of its host plant, often detaching itself from its own roots in order to survive solely on the plants it attaches itself to.
The Actaea Pachypoda, White Baneberry or Doll's Eyes comes in at #4 for us. Imagine looking at these berries in the dark. They would look like little eyeballs on flesh/blood-red stems. And if the way they look don't scare you enough, these berries are HIGHLY TOXIC to people and will cause cardiac arrest or even death when ingested.
Thankfully these berries are found in the hardwood forests in North America.
This next one is really only just creepy looking, but may actually be beneficial to health. At #3 The Hydnellum Peckii, Bleeding Tooth Fungus is not the typical fungi when you think of toadstools from Super Mario Bros.
This mycorrhiza has deep pores with red jammy substance oozing out of it. And when you turn it over, you will find small and nasty looking spines. Hence the name Bleeding Tooth Fungus. But for all it's dramatic name – this fungus is known to contain atromentin, which is similar to heparin, a widely known and used anticoagulant. Atromentin may also have anti-bacterial properties. Thelephoric acid is another chemical contained in the mushroom, which may have uses in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
*Read more at Gardening Know How: What Is Bleeding Tooth Fungus: Is A Bleeding Tooth Fungus Safe https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/fungus-lichen/is-bleeding-tooth-fungus-safe.htm
If you remember, #2 Amorphophallus Titanum or Corpse Flower, made the local news in 2021. The corpse flower is known for being the largest flower on earth AS WELL AS having a very foul aroma of rotting flesh. Perfect scent for this season!
And as all things with nature, everything it does has a purpose. And the reason for the stench, is to attract carnivorous insects to achieve pollination. This strange bloom can even warm itself up to look like dead flesh when attracting flies and dung beetles.
This flower comes from an almost innocuous plant – The elephant foot yam plant. To find out why it made the news last year – hit up this article from mothership!
Coming in at #1, the Mammillaria Elongata Cristata or commonly known as the brain cactus – some of us may even have these in our own collection.
Yes, this brain shaped cactus may not look super scary, but I feel that the way it is formed, sounds really torturous :(
Brain cacti is actually a type of 'Cristata' that are formed into the brain-like shapes when they are injured at a young age! And like most living things, when tortured from a young age, the brain cacti grows up into its twisted and convoluted shape.
This one really hits home hard and makes you wonder. Which odd plants do we find interesting that were bred to be different from what it's actually meant to be.
What plants DO YOU FIND CREEPY?