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The Top 10 Scariest Plants Ever

Updated on January 13, 2013

There are some very strange things in the world. Some are fun, cute, and exciting. Some are just disturbing. Here is a quick list of plants that make my list of the ten most disturbing plants I know about.

Octopus Stinkhorn
Octopus Stinkhorn | Source

Octopus Stinkhorn

Clathrus Archeri.
As it is a fungus, I placed it last on the list. However, this creepy plant usually looks like the tentacles of an octopus. It is said that it is edible, but as it smells horrible and tastes even worse I doubt that even those dying of hunger would want to try it. Most of these are from the place where many dangerous things come from: Australia.

Hydnellum peckii
Hydnellum peckii | Source

Bleeding Tooth Fungus

Hydnellum peckii
Here we have another fungus which I find quite disturbing. The Bleeding Tooth Fungus is so called because the younger specimens tend to secrete this red fluid that looks a lot like blood. The tooth part of the name is because the underside of it's cap has little teeth in which spores are made. If you are tempted to eat one, they are not poisonous but are extremely bitter. I do not want to know why someone tasted one.

Younger Lantern Plant
Younger Lantern Plant

Lantern Plant

The Chinese/Japanese Lantern Plant is just something that looks amazing. Its not so much scary as something I find to be a Halloween type plant. The outer area of the berry fades and becomes a skeleton like cage around the berry.

For a more spooky oriented line of thought, the Japanese collect the berries for the Bon Festival to guide the souls of the deceased.

Late Stage Berry
Late Stage Berry
Doll's Eyes Berries
Doll's Eyes Berries | Source

Doll's Eye Plant

Actaea pachypoda
This highly poisonous "White Baneberry" looks quite normal until you find its fruit (pictured). If you catch its leaves and flowers it looks like an ordinary plant. If you sneak up on it in the middle of the night it looks like the picture. Okay just kidding, but when it does fruit, the size of the white berry and the black spot do look like a doll's eye.

Though this can easily cause cardiac arrest, early settlers and Native Americans would use the roots of the plant to sedate people, especially during child birth. The berries are the dangerous part of the plant and can cause immediate sedation of heart muscles if ingested.

Just a few Thorns
Just a few Thorns

Porcupine Tomato

Solanum pyracanthon
It might sound cute, but it really is not. This extremely sharp plant grows thousands of spines all over itself. Furthermore, it can grow fast and large with some dimensions being 8x8 feet. It is hard to kill, and with the speed it grows you better hope it was not introduced into your back yard. This is one plant you do not want to tangle with. Oh, did I mention the thorns are poison?

The beginning of the end for this poor tomato plant.
The beginning of the end for this poor tomato plant.

Dodder Vine

Cannibal plants? Yep, that is creepy. The Strangleweed smells its prey and attacks. Slowly, but most movement to a plant is slow. The image attached is a sample of Witches Shoelace that is next to a tomato plant, slowly coming for it to strangle the life out of it and feed off of it.

Recently we just found out that these follow the scent of plants. When wafting plant smells towards the plant it starts to follow the smell. It also has specific tastes - in the test both Tomato and Wheat were used, and it definitely liked the Tomato smell more.

Devil's Claw
Devil's Claw | Source

Devil's Claw

This plant looks very similar to "head crabs" from the game Half Life, which like to grab on to people and do horrible things to them. These plants grab onto the feet of anything that passes by and get carried along until they are smashed to pieces by the foot. This would not take me very long, upon noticing that kind of passenger I would quickly smash it to bits if it would not come off...

Ghost Plant
Ghost Plant | Source

Ghost Plant

The Ghost Plant is aptly named. Just imagine walking into a grouping of these in the middle of the night. This is a rare plant that people usually don't find anywhere. The plant does not get food from sunlight; strangely enough this plant feeds off a specific fungi which feed off of trees.

Also called the Indian Pipe, this plant can rarely have a red coloration or streaking or sometimes has a pink hue to it as if it had recently eaten something that wandered by.

Chinese Fleeceflower
Chinese Fleeceflower

Chinese Fleeceflower

Art imitating life, or life imitating art? Life imitating life?
I am not sure if this is a hoax or not, but there seem to be a large number of these pictures of this type of root turning out rather human like. Perhaps this root is the origin of the Mandrake Root stories of plants that look like people. (Though, the Mandrake Root too can bifurcate and look like people as well.) The wonderful world of roots shows us that it is possible for people looking plants to exist with mandrake, ginger, and a few others but it usually is not this clear.

Bat Flower
Bat Flower | Source
Closed Bat Flower
Closed Bat Flower | Source

Bat Flower

Tacca Chantrieri
While looking around at plants one day, I saw an image of bats sleeping. Why is that in the flower pictures...? OH. Oh no... That is a flower. That is not fun. The Black Bat Flower of the yam family (of all things) grows in wild tropical forests in China, far away from me. The petals/wings can grow up to a foot in diameter and the longer whisker type things can grow up to 28 inches, making this a large plant that you don't want to walk into in the middle of the night.

Many Many More...

There are a vast amount of plants on this planet and we are sure to have missed some. This is a list of the ones that I find most disturbing and yet fascinating. Of course there are others, like the carnivorous type plants - pitcher, venus fly, etc. - but those are well known to most.

Think about what plants you find the most interesting or terrifying and come up with a list of your own!

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    • eugbug profile image

      Eugene Brennan 3 years ago from Ireland

      Scaaaareeee! I going to have nightmares tonight after looking at these plants!

    • Sonny Ellar profile image

      Sonny Ellar 5 years ago from Saudi Arabia

      I have never seen these Peculiarly amazing plants except for one the Chinese lantern thing. I have spent a few years of my life in the farm, less like a forest but enough trees, grasses and plants. seen many unusually looking plants but not like these things you have just introduced to me.

      This is a great article! very informative!

    • Danieljohnston profile image
      Author

      Daniel Johnston 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Rebeccamealy, it is quite gross and I am horrified that someone tasted it to report that it is bitter.

      Esmeowl12, it is the Indian Pipe. I meant to put the other name for it and will do so now! I am impressed by the Chinese Lantern and am thinking about looking into the possibilities of getting one just because it is so interesting.

    • Esmeowl12 profile image

      Cindy A. Johnson 5 years ago from Sevierville, TN

      I think another name for the Ghost plant is Indian Pipe, or at least it looks a lot like it. We have a variety of Chinese Lantern in our yard that is quite pretty. The other plants on your list are just plain yucky! Thanks for sharing!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      These are amazing. I have never heard of any of these scary plants. That fungus with the "blood" is totally gross!