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    Petrifying plants

    Halloween is finally here, so what better time to take a look at some of the spookier, more unsettling plants out there? We have put together some of the creepiest species from around the world – here’s hoping it gives you the chills!

     

    Monotropa unifloraghost plant

    This herbaceous perennial plant is native to European Russia, North America and South America. The lack of chlorophyll in this plant results in a ghostly white colour. Instead of drawing energy from the sun, this parasitic plant hosts fungi that are mycorrhizal with trees, meaning this little plant essentially takes its energy from trees.

    Tacca chantrieri – black bat flower

    This bat shaped flower can grow up to 12 inches across with long, trailing ‘whiskers’ which can reach 28 inches long. This species can typically be found in the tropical regions of southeast Asia, in areas of high humidity that offer plenty of water.

    Mammillaria elongata ‘Cristata’ – brain cactus

    This strange cactus is native to central Mexico and is considered to be a rare species. The unique growth pattern resembles the veins and structure of a human brain brain, earning it the nickname of ‘brain cactus’. This species has not been cultivated however – this pattern is the bi-product of a mutation. If the centre of the cactus, known as apical meristem, receives damage, the cactus’s growth pattern might start to grow in a wormlike shape.

    Actaea pachypoda – dolls eyes

    This eerie species of flowering plant is native to North America, Canada and the eastern side of the United States. The ‘eye’, or berry, as well as the entire plant, is poisonous to humans due to it containing cardiogenic toxins; ingestion of the berries can lead to cardiac arrest and potentially death.

    Clathrus archeri – devil’s finger

    Found across the globe, this young fungus grows from a sub-erumpent egg into four to seven arms. The dark olive spores contain gleba, an encased solid mass of spores. Once matured, these strange fungi are said to smell like putrid flesh.

    Coprinus comatus – shaggy ink cap

    Coprinus comatus, a European native mushroom, melts into an ink like liquid as it matures. As the hat and lamella dissolve into the ink-like liquid, long trails are formed down the white pulp, providing a particularly unnerving aesthetic.

    Harpagophytum – devil’s claw

    Native to South Africa, this plant received the nickname of Devil’s Claw due to the strange appearance of the hooked fruit. The root of the plant has been used for generations in herbal medicinal practices to ease pain and ease inflammation.

    Dracula vampire – Dracula orchid

    These captivating orchids prefer to grow in shadowy, cool temperature conditions throughout central America. Each plant is capable of producing five to six flowers during their lifetime.

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