From the California coasts to the forests of Japan, a number of strange and unique plants can be found around the globe. To date, researchers have discovered more than 300,000 plants, many of which have unusual properties. No matter where you live, it’s likely that there is fascinating foliage somewhere outside your door.
Some people don’t see North American plant life as exotic, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. This continent is home to unique plants that are both beautiful and deadly.
One of them is Sarracenia, a plant that can be found in both Texas and Canada. This plant is able to draw in insects with its bright colors and sweet smells, then trap them in one of the pitfalls it creates.
The Cobra Lily plant is every bit as deadly and exotic. Like the sarracenia plant, the Cobra Lily is able to create lethal traps for its victims. Once an insect has fallen into its trap it can’t escape. It can only move towards the plant’s digestive system.
Although Chinese Fleeceflower has a beautiful name, many find its strange appearance off-putting. The plant looks normal above the surface, but when you look below, you’ll find something that resembles a human. The plant is commonly used by herbalists.
The pitcher plant, which is native to south east Asia, also has a deceptive appearance. The sweet smell and pitcher-like appearance of its flowers seem inviting, but they’re actually designed to catch and kill insects and small animals.
“Baseball plant” may sound like something you’d see in a children’s story, but it’s completely real. This unbranched plant naturally grows into something resembling a baseball or volleyball. Unfortunately, it’s very rare and can be toxic to the touch.
If you saw a lithop on the ground, it’s likely that you’d simply assume it was a rock or stone. However, it’s very much alive. It has thick leaves that resemble pebbles, and lives for more than 50 years.
Commonly known as “sundews,” drosera is an attractive plant with colorful leaves that stretch towards the sun. However, those lovely leaves release a sticky substance that traps any insects that comes its way. It’s like a living, decorative piece of flypaper.
Gympie-gympie may have a silly-sounding name, but this tree is actually quite deadly. It has strong poison retention, and is able to release one of the most toxic acids in the world. Even healthy adults can be left paralyzed but this powerful plant. Botanists who want to interact with it must put on hazmat suits before they get too close.
Mimosa pudica is often described as the “shy plant.” Why? Because it draws away from human touch. It reacts whenever someone reaches out towards its bright green leaves. This is because of the primitive nervous system it possesses. The same nervous system also helps to balance water across its leaves.
Pinguicula looks like the kind of beautiful plant you’d gift your loved ones, but it’s actually carnivorous. Insects who come to close will be trapped and digested. What sets it apart from other plants of its ilk is that its carnivorous leaves don’t bloom year-round. It’s a seasonally predatory plant.
No matter what country or continent you visit, there are all kinds of amazing plants to discover. Whether they’re stunningly beautiful or shockingly deadly, we can all benefit from taking a look at the incredible and unique plants around the globe. Nature is often stranger than fiction, and the plants that exist within it need to be seen to be believed.