There is an average of 391,000 different plants in the world. Experts say they discover around 2,000 new plants every year.
With so many species out there, it makes you wonder what kind of unique and weird plants you’ve never seen. Some species you could never imagine existed are out there, waiting for someone to find them.
From edible to predatory, this list will take you through some of the most unique plants on the planet.
The Elephant Foot Yam
Despite its name, it doesn’t look much like a yam. And when you smell it, you’ll forget all images of a yummy, orange Thanksgiving side dish.
The Elephant Foot Yam (Amorphophallus paeoniifolius) is a large, odd looking flower. It also has the smell of a corpse. The good thing is, the horrible smell only occurs during the blooming period. Even better, blooming only lasts five days.
In India, they believe the plant has medicinal benefits. It’s also edible if you can get past its stench.
Rafflesia Arnoldii is this plants scientific name. And it looks like it came straight from Stranger Things.
The Rafflesia flower has no petals, stem, or roots. And instead of a sweet-smelling aroma, it has a dead scent. So why is it still classified as a flower? Most likely because it’s shaped like one and still starts from a bud.
Extinction is fast approaching this strange plant. That is in part because of it’s growing tendencies. The Rafflesia spends most of its life as a parasitic seed, living off only one type of vine. Then, when it finally decides it’s time to bud, a majority of its baby buds die.
The few buds that do make it only bloom for a few days before dying. That’s a difficult existence and makes sense why it could be gone soon.
The Cape Sundew
The Cape Sundew plant (Drosera capensis) is carnivorous. That doesn’t mean you can feed it a raw, paleo diet. Only that it eats small insects.
When you look at this plant with its thin leaves, you might wonder how it could catch its prey.
The secret to this beauty’s hunting is the sweet smell it extracts. The tiny hairs on its leaves secrete a dew-like substance that lures insects. Once an insect lands, the sticky hairs grab hold. This creates an impossible hold, no matter how hard the insect tries to escape.
The list of unique plants keeps getting larger. It’s amazing the types of flowers and plants you’d never know of if not for posts like this.
The Hydnora Plant
This next plant looks like it’s from the Tremors movie franchise.
The Hydnora (Hydnora africana) have male and female counterparts. They lure dung beetles into the center of their flower and hold them until the flower has matured. But there’s no reason to worry. It lets the beetles go.
Once the beetles have gone, they have to find another Hydnora flower. Finding the right female flower fulfills the pollination process.
Hydnora plants are also edible. The part buried under the ground becomes a fruit after two years and has the consistency of a potato.
Camouflage is this plants survival tactic.
Lithops (Lithops species) hide among rocks in the southern African areas. They are small, roundish looking plants. And are often mistaken for rocks, save for the slit in the top that sometimes produces flowers.
To call this plant resilient would be an understatement.
The Welwitschia (Welwitschia mirabilis) consists of two leaves and roots. The leaves continue to grow in length but never replace themselves. They are resilient because they can go up to five years without water, and can live up to 5,000 years.
This plant is edible, and some say is very flavorful.
The Ressurection Plant
Speaking of resilient plants, the Ressurection Plant (Selaginella Lepidophylla) is one of them.
During drier months, the plant will curl up into a ball and ride out the dryness. It can survive in its desert-like home for months without water. When moisture touches the Ressurection Plant, it opens back up.
The Dancing Plant
Desmodium Gyrans, the Dancing Plant, didn’t get its name for no reason.
The Dancing Plant’s leaves move about when there is sunlight. During the evening, when daylight disappears, the plant droops.
These plants are easy to grow and make interesting houseplants.
The Shy Plant
This bashful plant gets its name from its shy behavior.
The Shy Plant (Mimosa Pudica) doesn’t look remarkable. But when touched, the plants leaves retreat within themselves. If it’s left alone, the leaves will reopen after a few minutes.
The White Egret Flower
The most beautiful flower on this list is the White Egret flower (Habenaria radiata). The shape and color of the flower resemble a white bird in flight. A white egret to be exact.
The White Egret Flower is an orchid that needs plenty of tender loving care and originates in Asia.
Can You Grow Cool Plants on Your Own?
These plants are unique, to say the least. And we all want to know how to grow them for our own enjoyment or profit.
The answer is, yes, you can grow them. Though keep in mind not all these magnificent plants are easy. They each need their own special soil or light sources.
Growing these kinds of plants would be easier if you kept them indoors. That way you can control the climate and temperature. Visit Pipp Horticulture’s homepage if you want more information on growing indoors.
More Unique Stories
Uniqueness peaks our curiosity because we like to see unexpected things. Weird plants are no exception. Knowing there are many plant species you never knew were there is fun and fascinating.
Don’t let the interesting facts stop here. You can read more about plants in “7 Most Common Houseplants for Purifying the Air.” Or you can browse the Home and Garden section of our website.