8 Dangerous & Bizarre Plants
There are almost half a million different known plant species around the world. So many of them are truly beautiful and unique, but a few, have something extra special. Check out this wild, dangerous or just plain bizarre plants.
Carnivorous plants are fascinating because they get most their nutrients from trapping and eating insects and animals. The Nepenthes (aka Tropical Pitcher Plants or Monkey Cups) is a genus of carnivorous plant that has about 170 species and typically grows in tropical climates.
The plants trap prey in their champagne flute shaped body and use self-produced liquid to drown their meal. They then use glands in the lower plant of the plant to absorb the nutrients. Larger nepenthes plants can capture and devour small rats and lizards. Can you imagine seeing a plant eat a rat?
P.U. – What is that awful smell!
It’s the Amorphophallus Titanum (aka Corpse Flower) that can stand up to eight feet tall and four feet around. This large bloom native to rainforests in Indonesia emits a putrid smell of rotting meat. It is quite rare to see one bloom, so if you have the opportunity to, plug your nose and go for it!
This next plant will have you ducking and running for cover…
Spikes grow all along the trunk of the dangerous Sandbox tree. The sandbox tree can grow to 130 feet tall in the Amazonian Rainforest. The threatening spikes are not the only dangerous thing about this special tree – it’s fruit EXPLODE.
The fruit look like cute mini pumpkins, but, once they dry out, watch out. They explode like a bomb and the seeds can travel over 50 feet with a speed of 120+ miles an hour. The fruit is also poisonous – causing major digestive issues such as vomiting and diarrhea if consumed.
This is another plant that will have you holding your breath. At least a third of the Durio tree species produce fruit and one of those fruits is called the Durian. It’s large, spike covered fruit has a strong odor that many find horrible – it is even forbidden from some hotels and public transportation. If you can get past the scent, which has been described as raw sewage, then the Durian is known to be quite tasty and is used in many desserts in SE Asia.
I’d rather be tortured by the smell of durian fruit, then experience this next plants form of torture…
Bamboo is considered a primitive grass and is very fast growing. It can grow up to 1.5” in an hour in SE Asia. It is very versatile and is used as a building material, food, fuel and commercial goods. Perhaps Bamboos most infamous use though is as a form of torture. The rumor is that Japanese soldiers would tie up prisoners of war over a young bamboo shoot and it would eventually grow right through the victim’s body causing excruciating pain and death.
The Creosote Bush dominates the Western United States deserts with it’s wild branches and very efficient use of the hot landscapes limited resources. It can go an amazing TWO years without water! Talk about a good plant for a someone who doesn’t have a green thumb. They also live for 100 – 200 years. Hardy, pretty and resilient, the perfect plant for it’s harsh, sandy environment.
Next up, the extremely painful Gympie Tree!
The list wouldn’t be complete without a dangerous plant from Australia – the Gympie Tree has tiny stinging hairs everywhere. The little hairs inject a neurotoxin into whomever is unfortunate enough to touch one. The extreme pain can lasts for months – starting off as unbearable and gradually lessening but still flaring up when the area where the hairs penetrated is touched, gets wet or is subject to a temperature change. Ouch!
Slayer, Megadeth, Pycnandra Acuminata? Yes, this plant could also be consider HEAVY METAL as it absorbs nickel from the soil and releases it in it’s sap. The sap is blue and has a concentration of up to 25% nickel citrate. The plant is still being researched and the reason it absorbs metal is not well documented / known.