These Plants Are Weird!
Updated: Mar 6, 2020
By Hannah Pan
Most are greenish and unmoving. Many stand peacefully in forests and meadows, or lie in vases by our windows. But some plants are crazier than others—emitting bad smells, moving around, or even coming back to life. Let’s explore some of the world’s most bizarre plants.
Titan Arum (Corpse Flower)
When grown, these flowers may reach as high as six to eight feet tall. It has the largest unbranched flower head in the world and may even grow taller in their natural habitats. A late bloomer, the titan arum takes around ten years before it can bloom for the first time, and after that, the flower blooms every two to seven years. That’s why it’s such a big deal when it finally blooms! In addition, the “corpse flower” nickname comes its awful rotting-meat smell, which is meant to attract its pollinators (carrion beetles and flesh flies). Since these insects normally lay eggs in decaying flesh, they are attracted to the corpse flower’s smell.
Mimosa Pudica (Humble Plant)
This weed, native to South and Central America, is prevalent in tropical and warm areas. Mimosa pudica’s nickname is due to how its leaves droop and quickly close inward in response to physical touch and darkness. This mechanism is powered by a fast release of water from the leaf stalks. It is believed that this developed as a way for mimosa pudica to protect itself against herbivores who may be startled by the moving leaves. Due to its harmless and curiosity-inducing nature, mimosa pudica is often found in greenhouses and museums.
Selaginella Lepidophylla (Resurrection Fern)
This plant is native to Mexico and the Chihuahuan desert. When exposed to extremely dry weather, it curls itself inward into a ball, and from there it may be uprooted and blown around by wind, similar to tumbleweed. S. lepidophylla can survive for years as a dried-up ball without any water. Even if it has been uprooted, the plant will “resurrect” and open up its stems again when exposed to moisture. This makes the plant virtually indestructible—able to survive both a lack of water and disruption of its roots!
Editor: Jo Ann Sun