Special Report

35 of the Weirdest Plants on Earth

Source: When on Earth / Wikimedia Commons

31. Hooker’s lips
> Scientific name: Psychotria elata
> Main habitat: Central and South America

Cinephiles might think the hooker’s lips flower looks like the advertisement for the cult classic film “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” The “lips” are actually leaf-like, not petals, and only resemble lips for several days after they open. Once they do open, the plant displays minute yellow and white flowers. The unique character of the flower has made them popular, and because their habitat is under threat from deforestation, they are becoming rarer.

32. Swaddled babies
> Scientific name: Anguloa uniflora
> Main habitat: Andes region of South America

This orchid was found in the Andes Mountains in the late 18th century. It resembles infants wrapped in blankets inside of the plant when the flower blooms. The flower with creamy white petals, which also goes by the name of tulip orchid, grows to about 2 feet in height and gives off a cinnamon scent.

33. Flying duck orchid
> Scientific name: Caleana major
> Main habitat: Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales

The flying duck orchid is aptly named, strongly resembling the waterfowl. The 20-inch tall plant’s reddish-brown hue allows it to blend into its native Australian landscape. Gardeners who want to include the distinctive plant in their gardens will be discouraged to know it cannot flourish outside of Australia. The flying duck orchid’s growth depends on a fungus indigenous to Australia.

34. The cobra lily
> Scientific name: Darlingtonia Californica
> Main habitat: Northern California and Oregon

You don’t think of lilies as a menacing-looking flower, but the cobra lily might be the exception. It is a carnivorous plant strongly resembling a cobra snake. It is also called calf’s head, California pitcher plant, or cobra plant. Even the leaves of the plant, which turn red in the sun, suggest a snake’s tongue. The cobra lily lures its prey by emitting a fragrant scent from its trap and captures it in its pitcher.

35. Naked man orchid
> Scientific name: Orchis italica
> Main habitat: Morocco to Lebanon

This orchid resembles a human male, sans clothes, and can be found in the Mediterranean region, particularly along the coast. The orchid can grow to a height of just over 1.5 feet. Its most common colors are light purple and pink, though white specimens have been found. Like many flowers on this list, the flower is under threat possibly because of their overuse as a medicine.

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