Friday, October 31, 2014

Scary Plants

Today is Halloween so I decided to mention a few plants that have names that conjure up thoughts of evil or actually are kind of evil.
The first one is the carrion flower or Stapelia gigantea. Its flowers actually smell like carrion or dead flesh, thus attracting its pollinator, the fly. As you can see from this picture a couple of flies have been lured to pollinate this flower. Yuck!
Carrion flower or Stapelia gigantea
This next plant is called devil's backbone. As you can see at the bottom of the picture, the stems are definitely not following the "straight and narrow" path. It is commonly called the zigzag plant, as well.
Devil's Backbone Pedilanthus tithymaloides
This is the green worm or caterpillar plant. I love the footed ferns and have blogged about them here: Ferns with Feet.
Polypodium formosanum or green worm fern

Polypodium formosanum rhizome up close
This plant below is the dead stick plant and it is a hanging succulent. It does look like a dead stick. It is Cynanchum marnierianum.

Cynanchum marnierianum or dead stick plant
 Another dead stick plant is Euphorbia platycada. I love the color of this plant in the sun. Plants that resemble dead sticks are just trying to stay alive. Most herbivores don't want to eat a dead stick. Pretty intelligent plants, huh?
Euphorbia platycada or dead stick plant

Chlorophytum comosum

 Everyone knows about the ubiquitous spider plant or Chlorophytum comosum. It makes new babies which hang off the mother plant by long stems, resembling little spiders hanging from webs, thus the name.

The next plant is the rabbit's foot fern or Cynanchum marnierianum. Why do I have this plant in the scary plant category, you ask? Because my sister-in-law turned around in her chair while having dinner at my home and this plant was behind her. She shrieked, thinking it looked like some kind of tarantula leg or something. Lol! It is pretty creepy looking.

Davallia fejeensis
The crocodile fern or Microsorum musifolium 'Crocodyllus' is up next. I wouldn't want to mess with a crocodile, would you? This close up of the leaf makes it obvious how it received its common name.
Microsorum musifolium 'Crocodyllus'
I call this "Shrek's ears" but it is really a jade, Crassula ovata 'Gollum' . We just had a fall fun festival at our nursery and the each child that came could plant a spider plant in a chalkboard pot or these "Shrek's ears" in a green pot. They loved it. Check it out- they really do look like Shrek's ears.

We also all are familiar with Sansevieria - snake plant or mother-in-law plant. You may think both names apply. (Not to my mother-in-law. She's the best!)
Sansevieria or snake plant

 Another slithery plant is the rattlesnake plant or Calathea lancifolia. I guess the pattern on the leaves and the long thin shape made someone somewhere think of a rattlesnake. Not me.
Calathea lancifolia
The next plant is called devil's ivy or Epripremnum aureum and the cultivar I have is 'Neon'. Why do a lot of plants have a common name with devil in it? That may be a blog for another time.
Epipremnum aureum 'Neon'

The stag horn fern Platycerium superbum below doesn't really have a scary name or anything. I just thought this one looks like it has a huge mouth coming out to eat someone.

The last one I have to share with you is this bonsia with a little gargoyle caught in its roots. I love it! I hope you have a Happy Halloween and enjoyed these "scary" plants.