Friday, July 10, 2009

Top 10 ugly plants

Following are the world's top 10 ugly plants.

Bastard cobas
(Cyphostemma juttae)

A slow-growing, ornamental plant that can reach 6ft, also called wild grape, tree grape and Namibian grape. Plants are found in Namibia. The large shiny leaves tend to fall during winter and grape-like bunches appear near the end of summer.

(Aristolochia gigantea)

Also referred to as pipe vines, they are widespread and appear in various climates. The basis of the plant is an intertwining stem with simple leaves. The flowers have a strong scent.

Elephant's trunk
(Pachypodium namaquanum)

Found in the North Cape of Namibia, the plant consists of a thick trunk, densely covered in spines. There is a crown at the top appearing during the growing months of winter, and velvet-textured flowers appear from August to October.

Corpse flower
(Amorphophallus titanium)

This plant only blooms every four to six years within its 40-year life expectancy. The flower is described as the world's largest; reaching 5ft high and 4ft wide. For eight hours of the three-day bloom, the flower emits a smell that is described as rotting flesh, attracting a carrion-eating beetle, for pollination. The plant is also known as an aphrodisiac.

Tree tumbo
(Welwitschia mirabilis)

The plant, found in south-west Africa, specifically Namibia and Angola, is considered a living fossil. Initially, the plant grows two leaves from one thick trunk and, as the plant continues to grow, the leaves may split. Some plants are estimated to be more than 1,000 years old.

Thorn of the cross
(Colletia paradoxa)

Also known as gigs, curumamil, cross or crown of the cross. From South America, this slow-growing shrub with greyish flowers blooms in March and April. Often used as an ornamental plant for its fragrance, it is under threat of extinction, due to a loss of habitat.

Stinky squid
(Pseudocolus fusiformis)

A mushroom first reported in Pittsburgh, North America, in 1915. Often found at the edge of woods, in parks and gardens, usually in summer and autumn. The body first resembles a puffball, but later splits to form a stalk with arms that taper.

Vegetable sheep
(Raoulia eximia)

Named because of the way it looks from a distance, this is found in New Zealand's Southern Alps. This shrub forms grey-white mounds and can spread 5ft. Tiny leaves are covered in hairs, with flowers beneath.

Sea onion
(Bowiea volubilis)

Also known as the climbing onion, this plant originates from South Africa. The bulb is a pale green, with half growing underground. New branches appear each year, making it look like an elongated asparagus, with greenish flowers.

Monkey cups

Also commonly known as tropical pitcher plants, this plant comes from a family of more than 120 species. They are vine-forming, originating from south China, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. The plant grows as a climbing vine.


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