Hydnora africana, bizarre and smelly!

By in Nature
Hydnora africana

Hydnora africana is one of the most bizarre looking and worst smelling plants on our planet!

Wow, this plant certainly is one of the most bizarre-looking plants on our planet. It is the Hydnora africana, a parasitic plant that grows almost completely underground on the roots of shrubby plants in the arid desert regions of southern Africa. The only part that rises above the desert sand is its fleshy flower that looks more like the head of a blind snake!

Hydnora africana flower

Hydnora africana (bobbejaankos) is a parasitic plant that lives of the roots of Euphorbia plants. The flower takes over a year to develop, and is as hard as wood.

Ow, did I tell you already it smells like faeces too? In this way it attracts carrion and dung beetles, its natural pollinators. The salmon-red flower traps the beetles that enter, only to release them when the flower is fully opened. Fully grown, ripe fruits of Hydnora africana may measure up to 80 mm across and contain up to 20 000 seeds per fruit.

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