Welwitschia mirabilis:World’s Most Resistant Plant
It’s not pretty to look at, but Namibia’s plant Welwitschia Mirabilis can truly claim to be one of a kind. There really is nothing like it. Welwitschia plant consists of only two leaves and a sturdy stem with roots. That’s all! Two leaves continue to grow until they resemble the shaggy mane of some sci-fi alien. The stem thickens, rather than gains in height, and can grow to be almost 2 meters high and 8 meters wide. Their estimated lifespan is 400 to 1500 years. It can survive up to five years with no rain. The plant is said to be very tasty either raw or baked in hot ashes, and this is how it got its other name, Onyanga, which means onion of the desert.
Dionaea muscipula: the Venus Fly Trap
The Venus Fly Trap is the most famous of all carnivorous plants due to the active and efficient nature of its unique traps. It may be famous, but it’s also threatened. The plant’s two hinged leaves are covered in ultra sensitive fine hairs that detect the presence of everything from ants to arachnids. Trigger the hairs and snap! The trap will shut in less than a second.
Rafflesia arnoldii: World’s Largest Flower
There is one exotic and rare plant you wouldn’t likely want to grow anywhere near your landscape no matter how famous it would make you for doing so. That would be growing the largest flower in the world. This exotic, very rare, speckled, though not particularly pretty, rust colored flower is called Rafflesia Arnoldii.
Rafflesia Arnoldii, recently assigned to the Euphorbiaceae family, is the biggest individually produced flower in the world. It gets to be 3 feet across and weighing a whopping 15- 24 pounds. That’s pretty darn big but still you would not like this flower in your perennial bed. Why is that? If you could mimic a rainforest type environment for this plant, it gives off a most offensive odor when in bloom. This scent is somewhat like rotting meat. This is why it is often called the Corpse Plant by some natives of Indonesia where it originates.
Its blossoms only last three days to a week. But in those few days it needs a miracle or two just for survival. This hideous smell it produces attracts pollinating insects to it to help perpetuate the species. But even when this happens only 10-20 percent of the tiny seedlings make it. With any luck in nine months it blooms.
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