This post is a part of A-Z Challenge for bloggers, that takes place every year in the month of April. Bloggers take part in this challenge for self improvement and to overcome the “writer’s block”. Each one of us writes one article everyday, starting from the alphabet ‘A’, right up to ‘Z’. My theme for this year’s challenge is – mind-blowing facts and theories.
This world never runs out of surprising elements! After covering it’s amazing and mysterious places, phenomenons, animals and discoveries, here are a few plants and flowers that will leave you stunned!
Titan Arum or the Corpse Flower is one of the world’s largest and rarest flowering structures that blooms once in over 40 years for a very short period of time. During flowering, the plant stands at 8.2 feet tall, and produces the smell of dead meat or decomposing corpse, hence the name. Apparently, it’s burgundy color and strong rotten smell is meant to attract dung beetles, flesh flies and other carnivorous insects for pollination.
The pitcher plant is a carnivorous plant native to South East Asia. With its deeply folded leaves, the cup-shaped plant stores up a sweet-smelling juice which lures an unsuspecting insect or even mice into its mouth. Once, the victim falls inside, it slowly dies of drowning in the juices secreted in the pitcher. The juices contain chemicals (similar to those in our stomach) which slowly swallow the victim up! But, surprisingly this plant wasn’t always a carnivore! It took millions of years to turn into what it is today because it found that eating small insects could give it the necessary proteins, nitrogen and other minerals that it couldn’t just seep from the soil! (And here I am, not able to switch from fries to salads!)
Euphorbia Obesa or the Baseball Plant is native to South Africa. The plant’s shape is very much similar to that of a baseball. It is an un-branched plant with a ball shaped single stem and an average height of 20 cm. Baseball plants are quite toxic and can cause severe skin problems. It’s a very rare species and is protected by national nature conservation.
This unique plant is found only in the deserts of Namibia. The estimated lifespan of this plant is between 500 to 1500 years and can survive within many extreme weather conditions. This plant has only two leaves and are known to live longest in the plant kingdom. The broadest unbroken leaf measures 179 cm. The huge surface that the leaves cover, helps the plant to survive at a temperature on the soil as high as 65 degree Celsius! It keeps the soil under the plant cool and moist.
Lithops, a succulent plant can easily be confused with a stone as it looks exactly like a stone or a pebble. This species is mainly found in South Africa. There are at least 37 species with various shapes, markings, colors and texture. Lithops can survive in dry areas because of their capacity to store water in their leaves fused together in the shape of an inverted cone.