- Holidays and Celebrations
Beware the triffids!
The current crop of monster movies and tv shows focus on things that go bump in the night - vampires and zombies are the monsters under our beds and coming out of our closets. But we've turned our back on other scary things, things that are just as scary during the day as they are at night - the monsterous plants and triffids that can sneak up on us unawares!
Chilli "Vampire" - A chilli that really bites!
Suttons Seeds in the UK have added a new chilli to their range - it's beautiful, producing black, fang-shaped fruits that ripen to blood red!
Top 10: evil plants from films
The Telegraph newspaper has a lovely slideshow of the Top 10 evil plants in films. Did you favorite get a mention?
What rises from the dead in your garden?
"I can’t give you a spell that will resurrect that house plant you forgot to water for 6 months and which your Auntie Mavis gave you and will expect to see alive and kicking in a prominent place when she next comes to visit. You’re on your own there."
"One of the creepy things that happens quite often with wormeries is that potatoes start to grow in them. The first you know is when those giant, white and fleshy tendrils start poking out all over. There’s a triffid in there, growing from a tiny scrap of potato peeling that had an eye on it. It’s tempting to hack at the thing with a machete until it dies, but there’s no need – it will run out of energy and decompose in due course."
Save yourself! Read more on Zombie Plants!
Grow your own monsters!
Everyone has a sneaking fascination for weird plants that don't behave like ordinary plants. This fascinating book shows how to grow some of them and see for yourself what they do. From cucumbers that shoot seeds and cabbages that grow into walking sticks, to venus fly traps that eat insects and giant echiums that look like alien spaceships, these are plants that will amaze - and they are so easy to grow. Detailed instructions on how to sow and look after these monsters of the plant world accompany step-by-step illustrations and fabulous photos of the mature plants to inspire anyone who can't resist getting to know them better. And some of the plants can be grown on patios or window sills too. Plants included: squirting cucumber, voodoo lily, Abyssinian banana, cardoon, walking stick cabbage, venus fly trap, pitcher plant, giant echium and lychee.
A practical guide to growing all kinds of unusual plants – not the ordinary, good looking ones that most people choose to grow! Voodoo Lilies, Venus Fly Traps, Squirting Cucumbers and Abyssinian Bananas are just some of the exotic and dramatic-looking plants that you can grow quite simply and some of them even indoors by following this book’s instructions on planting and tending. Beyond the particular, the principles of home growing and the fun it gives are entertainingly introduced in this attractively illustrated book. (Julia Eccleshare)
Venus Fly Trap - The Jaws of Death
Hungry Venus flytraps snap shut on a host of unfortunate flies. But, despite its name, flies aren't the flytrap's only meal. As long as its prey is roughly the right size and touches two of its hairs within twenty seconds, the plant will dine on any insect or spider that comes its way. Glands in the lobes then secrete enzymes that break the dinner down into a digestible soup. Ten days later, the trap pops open to reveal nothing but a dried out husk.
Beastly Brambles - Still think blackberries are tasty?
Seen speeded up, the blackberry is one of the most aggressive plants in the garden, seeking out new territory and plants to smother, and doing it all with a thorn in its stem.
Tasty, juicy... and deadly to insects
We all know there are carnivorous plants that eat insects (and even, in some cases, small mammals). But scientsts at the Royal Botanical Gardens Kew have discovered that meat-eating plants are more common than we think, and there may be some lurking in your vegetable patch right now! Are your tomatoes looking shifty? Those hairy stems are perfect for trapping unsuspecting insects for dinner!
Wicked Plants - Poisons, drugs and carnivorous plants
Join bestselling author Amy Stewart as she takes on Mother Nature's most appalling creations. Her new book, Wicked Plants, is an A to Z of plants that kill, maim, intoxicate, and otherwise offend. Drawing on history, medicine, science, and legend, Stewart presents tales of bloodcurdling botany that will entertain, alarm, and enlighten even the most intrepid gardeners and nature lovers.
Find out more at www.wickedplants.com
Creepy carnivorous plants
Carnivorous plants are fun when they're small - Venus fly traps that close over unsuspecting insects, or pitcher plants that lure small creatures to their deaths. But how about a pitcher plant that eats rats? Still fun? Or scary?
Halloween Special! - Plants are Cool, too!
Bucknell associate professor of biology Chris Martine highlights some of the creepier plants he's worked with in an exclusive Halloween special of his popular web series "Plants are Cool, Too!"