strange and funny plants


Corpse Lily FlowerWhether its to attract pollinators or to repel predators, in order for plants to survive in nature, they must adapt to their surroundings.  As a result, some plants have had to develop unusual growth characteristics.  For instance, some plants have funny colors, strange forms, and weird growth patterns.  Some plants depend on their aroma for survival, which can smell good or bad.  There are plants that can move, create noise, and plants that simply have strange or funny names.  Others are considered carnivores, while some plants seemingly rise from the dead.

Strange Colors, Forms and Weird Growth

1.  Some plants depend on their colors or forms, however odd, in order to survive.  Take, for instance, the crested coskscomb.  This funny-looking plant has bright-colored flower heads that resemble little brains, or a rooster's head.  However, it's because of the bright colors that pollinators are able to locate this strange plant in the garden.

2.  While there's nothing odd about Zinnias, the green-flowered variety, 'Envy' is rather strange looking.  Why is it green?  Some plants do not require any special coloring for attracting pollinators as wind or other methods, such as scent, are used instead.  Therefore, some plants are plain colored, simply blending into their surroundings, which is also a good way to remain hidden from grazing animals.

3.  Other plants use the same technique, only in a different way, such as form.  Living rocks are a good example.  This strange plant doesn't look like a plant at all.  Growing flat against the ground, it actually resembles rocks.  You wouldn't even know that they were plants at all if it were not for the striking pink flowers that bloom in the fall.

4.  Some plants resort to weird growing tactics.  For example, instead of growing in soil, they grow directly from the barks of trees.  Staghorn fern is one such plant.

Unusual Aromas, Movements and Noises

1.  Some plants have unique scents that attract pollinators.  They can be perfume-like and pleasing, but there are other aromas too.  For instance, the common herb Mint comes in many different varieties, all with very different scents, from peppermint and chocolate to orange and pineapple.

2.  Not all plants smell good.  Some flowers stink as a means of attracting certain insects.  The Corpse Lily (pictured above) for example, smells like rotting or decaying meat.  The Touch-me-not or Sensitivity plant moves on its own.  Whenever you try to touch this plant, it will roll up its leaves.  Most likely, this is a way of protecting itself from pests.  The Walking Iris is another strange plant.  Although it doesn't actually move, it's flowering stalk bends over and takes root so easily that it appears to be walking throughout the garden.

3.  There are plants that can even make sounds.  The Money plant produces lightly scented flowers, but it is the translucent, silver-dollar seedpods that make this plant interesting, as they create soft, rustling sounds in the wind.  The Chinese lantern plant also makes sounds in the wind.  This strange looking plant produces inflated, papery, orange-red, lantern-like pods.

Fun Activities

Take a field trip with the kids.  Whether it's in the backyard or schoolyard, a nearby park or botanical garden, see how many strange and funny plants kids can find.  Have kids record these funny plants in their grow with me Garden Journal