Nepenthes villosa is a spectacular species of tropical pitcher plant (Nepenthes), a group of carnivorous plants equipped with large, modified, pitcher-shaped leaves that trap and digest small organisms. You can find it at an altitude of 3300 meter near the summit of Mount Kinabalu in northeastern Borneo.
Rafflesia speciosa is a parasitic plant species of the genus Rafflesia. It belongs to medium-sized Rafflesia of Meijer with a flower diameter of up 56 cm. (or even larger). The whitish warts appear like ‘rice crispies’ sprinkled evenly all over reddish- or rusty- brown perigone lobes. Rafflesia speciosa is endemic to the Philippine island of Panay. The plant has no stems, leaves or true roots. It is an endoparasite of vines in the genus Tetrastigma (Vitaceae), spreading its root-like haustoria inside the tissue of the vine. The only part of the plant that can be seen outside the host vine is the five-petaled flower.
Sarracenia is a genus of carnivorous plants commonly known as North American Pitcher Plants. The insects are attracted by a nectar-like secretion on the lip of pitchers, as well as a combination of color and scent. Slippery footing at the pitchers’ rim, aided in at least one species by a narcotic drug lacing the nectar, causes insects to fall inside, where they die and are digested by the plant as a nutrient source.
Hyndora africana is one of the most bizarre-looking plants on the African continent. It is a parasitic plant on species of the genus Euphorbia. It has such an unusual physical appearance that one would never say it is a plant. It looks astonishingly similar to fungi and is only distinguishable from fungi when the flower has opened.
Dionaea muscipula (Venus Flytrap)
The Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) is a low growing perennial herb native to coastal bogs of North and South Carolina that catches and digests animal prey mostly insects and arachnids. Unlike most plants’ leaves, the leaves of the Venus Flytrap plant tend to look different in the different stages of the plant’s growing cycle.
This well known and bizarre plant that you can find in many places in Crete, is native to the East Mediterranean, from Greece, the Balkans, all the way to SW-Turkey. The foliage is very attractive. The plant is a rather robust, seldom a clump-forming herb, and sometimes up to 2 meters high.
The titan arum or Amorphophallus titanum is a flowering plant with the largest unbranched inflorescence in the world. The titan arum’s inflorescence can reach over 3 meters (10 feet) in circumference. The aroma comes from the spadix and smells quite like a rotting whale or sea creature.
Monotropa uniflora (Indian Pipe)
Monotropa uniflora, also known as the Ghost Plant, Indian Pipe, or Corpse Plant is a herbaceous perennial plant, formerly classified in the family Monotropaceae, but now included within the Ericaceae. Unlike most plants, it is white and does not contain chlorophyll. Instead of generating energy from sunlight, it is parasitic, more specifically a myco-heterotroph. Its hosts are certain fungi that are mycorrhizal with trees, meaning it ultimately gets its energy from photosynthetic trees. Since it is not dependent on sunlight to grow, it can grow in very dark environments as in the understory of dense forest.
Drosera rotundifolia is found in sphagnum bogs in North America, Europe, and northern Asia. It requires a definite winter season to survive long term and likes cool temperatures. The plant feeds on insects, which are attracted to its bright red colour and its glistening drops of mucilage, loaded with a sugary substance, that cover its leaves. It has evolved this carnivorous behaviour in response to its habitat, which is usually poor in nutrients or so acidic that nutrient availability is severely decreased.