Thought all flowers were beautiful? Think again! Here are our top 10 weird and wacky flowers that are sure to give you a fright this Halloween.
1. Dracula Orchid
This is one of the freakiest flowers out there. Belonging to the genus Dracula, it has two long spurs that hang down, almost like fangs, as well as a scary monkey face. Yes, it really is as bizarre as it sounds! It only grows in the cloud forests of Ecuador and Peru on the side of mountains, and smells like a ripe orange. Amazing!
2. Devil’s Tooth (Hydnellum peckii)
This gross-looking mushroom would soon put you off your dinner – so it’s perhaps just as well that it’s not an edible fungus anyway. We shouldn’t be too critical, however, as it gives minerals to trees. When at its most moist, it bleeds out droplets of bright red juice, hence its other nickname “strawberries and cream”. It’s not something you’d find during Wimbledon fortnight though.
3. Ghost Plant (Monotropa uniflora)
Also known as the corpse plant, this rare spooky specimen is native to Asia and North America. It gets its nickname because of its near translucent stems and ghostly white flowers. It’s a parasite that feeds off fungi and lives in dark, damp places in dense forests.
4. Black Bat Flower (Tacca chantrieri)
This extremely sinister-looking plant is also sometimes referred to as the devil flower. It has bat-like petals and black flowers, with long whiskers that grow up to 30cm long. Like bats themselves, this plant doesn’t like direct sunlight, but thrives in high humidity.
5. Doll’s Eyes (Actaea pachypoda)
This looks like something out of a sci-fi B movie. It has big white round berries with black scars (or irises), resembling eyeballs popping out on long red stalks. Also known as white baneberry, it’s extremely poisonous to humans.
7. Rafflesia (Rafflesia arnoldii)
Weighing up to 10kg and measuring more than 100cm across, this is the world’s largest flower. It not only looks like rotten meat, it smells like it too to attract flies for pollination. It doesn’t have any leaves and roots, and grows as a parasite in the rainforests of Borneo andSumatra.
8. Corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanium)
A giant among plants, this towering specimen rises up to three metres above the ground. It has a 40-year life expectancy and only blooms once every four to six years. It emits a foul-smelling odour but is said to be an aphrodisiac.
6. Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula)
One of the best-known scary plants, the Venus Flytrap is a carnivorous beast, dining on insects that make the unfortunate mistake of falling into its gaping jaws. Its trap snaps shut in a zillionth of a second, and its long fringes prevent its prey from escaping. Not a plant to be messed with!
9. Porcupine Tomato (Solanum pyracanthon)
With its sharp spiky thorns, this plant gives out a clear message that it’s best left well alone. Hailing from Madagascar, it’s also poisonous, spreads quickly and is hard to kill, even in a drought. Not much to recommend it then.
10. Voodoo Lily (Sauromatum venosum)
This tropical plant has the ability to multiply by producing new bulbs underground. It’s known as the Voodoo Lily because it can grow without soil or water. The flowers are particularly pungent, smelling like rotten meat, so you’ll need a strong stomach for this.