Halloween is coming and it’s a time to celebrate all things scary, spooky and grotesque. Whilst Mother Nature normally delights us with vivid colours and delicate, imaginative shapes, there is very much a darker side to her. Plants are no exception here so today, we’re going to spend some time looking into the macabre world of scary plants. Try not to have nightmares.
Snapdragon Seed Pods
Snapdragons are beautiful colourful flowering plants. When they’re alive that is! When it’s time for the buds to go to seed they form pods, which then shoot out the seeds leaving behind rather Macabre looking skull-shaped shells. This strange appearance seems to be just a fluke rather than nature imitating humanity. Unless of course nature has taken to using Medieval forms of warnings to traitors against transgressions.
Chinese Black Bat flowers
This bizarre-looking flower is actually part of the yam family and is named after its not inconsiderable similarity to black bats. They grow in Southeast Asia and not only do the leaves look a lot like bat wings but it also has bizarre looking ‘whiskers’ or tentacle like growths protruding from it which could draw comparisons with Cthulhu as well. It’s definitely a good way to treat someone with a trick.
If you’re freaked out by dolls then this is the plant you least want growing in your garden. The Doll’s Eye plant features little white berries with a protruding black spot on the end and to make them look even more gruesome grow from bright red stems which look just like eye-stalks. At least they have some use if you happen to have a doll with a missing eye as you’ll have lots of choice for easy replacements.
Dracula Vampira Orchids
If you jumped on seeing this dark floral denizen of the night then you are not alone as that was our reaction too. It’s pretty easy to see where this flower got its name from with its dark ghoulish colours and its pink lipped pouch. You may wonder if this orchid is going to bite you or turn into a bat. We haven’t investigated this ourselves and frankly, we’re a bit nervous about doing so just in case it sucks our blood. We’re pretty sure it doesn’t but we’re not going to risk it. That said it must be a day walker like Blade as it seems to flourish in sunlight and we’re quite sure that it would enjoy a sprinkling of holy water. We far prefer conventional orchids, which at least look like they’re not going to eat us.
Chinese Fleece Flower
If you’re a fan of the Harry Potter books and films you’ll probably remember Mandrake roots which were sentient human-like organisms. Luckily in real life that’s not the case (as far as we know they don’t scream like in the Potter universe), but despite that JK Rowling’s interpretation isn’t that far off from a real-life example. The Chinese Fleeceflower is renowned for its use in Chinese medicine and normally they are blocking unassuming looking roots. However, in one or two cases roots have reportedly been found looking eerily like naked men and women. Normally, the root is used to treat numerous ailments like hair-loss, low fertility and encouraging age rejuvenation.
These creepy shrubs look like they’ve been sent to warn us to change our ways so we can learn the true meaning of Christmas. With their bizarre ethereal look you might be forgiven that these blooms are dead but in fact they are very much alive. The reason they look this way is because they don’t contain chlorophyll and grow from nutrients in fungas and other plants rather than due to sunlight. So they’re parasites as well. A plant you will truly want to call in the exorcists for.
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