Flowers are bright, beautiful and lovely things that bring fresh fragrance and wonderful colour into your home, right? Except, of course, when nature decides to turn nasty. That’s when colourful and beautiful become dark and ugly. In preparation for Halloween, we’ve sought out the scariest, spookiest and generally most unpleasant-looking plants and flowers that we could find.
You have been warned!
Tacca chantrieri – The Bat Orchid
No haunted house or spooky graveyard should be without its very own Bat Plant! Instantly recognisable due to its almost-black colour and long tendrils, this flower gets its name from its obvious resemblance to the flying mammal. Bats have a bit of reputation for inciting fear in people and so nature was obviously hoping to achieve a similar effect with these creepy-looking flowers.
Monotropa uniflora – The Ghost Plant
Also known as the Corpse Plant or Ghost Plant, Monotropa uniflora has certainly got some unfortunate nicknames. Not surprising though really once you realise that this particular plant is in fact a parasite and can survive with no natural light whatsoever. It lives by draining nutrients out from a host plant and is often completely white in colour due to a lack of chlorophyll, making it the closest thing to a vampire that we could find in the plant world.
Imagine opening your front door this week and finding a beautiful bouquet of white roses delivered to you as a gift from a loved one? Taking centre stage in your coffee table, fresh flowers always make a room feel brighter and more relaxed. However, wait until the sun goes down and then see how calm you feel. Interflora has launched some eerie glow in the dark roses that emit a ghostly green glow once plunged into darkness. If you’re feeling extra brave, trying leaving them by your bed for an excellent Halloween-themed night light.
Actaea pachypoda – Doll’s Eye or White Baneberry
There’s nothing quite like taking a pleasant stroll through the country side and seeing all the lovely sights that nature has to offer. Except of course when nature decides to stare right back at you! The Doll’s Eye plant doesn’t need much of a description – simply put; its white berries resemble a doll’s eyeballs, complete with little black irises. Just what you want to see when walking through a wood all alone…
Harpagophytum – Devil’s Claw or Grapple Plant
The good thing about scary plants and flowers is that you can always run away from them, right? Wrong! How about a plant that attaches itself to your legs as you run? Not feeling so brave now, are you? The Grapple Plant features seed pods that fall onto the ground and resemble giant black crabs. Large hook-like protrusions rise up and snag the legs of passing animals in order to spread the seeds across distances. Try running away with one of these hanging off you.
Solanum pyracanthon – Porcupine Tomato
Some plants make it known loud and clear that you shouldn’t mess with them, with bright colours or a strong smell. These plants do it mainly through the massive red spikes sticking out of it. Hailing from Madagascar, this beastly-looking plant is both poisonous and extremely invasive; the Porcupine Tomato is definitely not something you want to find growing amongst your petunias.
Welwitschia – Kharos
If you come across one of these plants out in the wilderness, you will probably feel reassured that it already looks pretty dead. You would be wrong, of course. The ‘Kharos’ as it is sometimes known is a rather ugly looking plant that looks like it has been stepped on by something. Able to live up to 2,000 years and surviving in very harsh climates, this is a plant that will probably end up outliving the human race.
Raoulia eximia – Vegetable Sheep
Ever seen a sheep hunkered down on a mountainside to avoid to wind? Now, are you sure it as a sheep and not a Raoulia? You are probably asking what on earth a Raoulia is so we will explain. It is an alpine shrub that has the usual quality of looking like a sheep lying down. Large, off-white in colour and slightly fuzzy, this odd plant can spread to around 1ft in diameter. Just be careful if you do decide to go up and poke one – it might actually be a sheep!
Hydnellum peckii – Bleeding Tooth Fungus
If you are reading this while eating your lunch, we suggest you look away now until you’ve finished. Done? Right, here we have the Bleeding Tooth Fungus which, as you can imagine, actually bleeds! The ‘blood’ seepage is actually a pigmented juice that is has anticoagulant and antibacterial properties. Very beneficial for medicinal purposes – but it still turns our stomachs!
Stapelia – Star Flower
Do not let the common name for the Stapelia fool you. It may be star-like in shape, but we don’t know many stars that look like they would suck your face right off if given half a chance. This large, hairy and thoroughly unpleasant-looking flower grows predominantly in South Africa and not only looks like a skinless octopus, but also emits a foul aroma of rotting meat to attract insects. Lovely!
You can get our blog posts delivered for free by email - simply add your email address to the box below or alternatively grab the RSS feed.
Don't forget to follow Interflora on Twitter