The durian tree is a pretty standard looking tropical tree, but what got it on the list was its fruit. It looks like a cross between a granny smith apple and a hedgehog, and while that picture is impressive enough, this one gives you some scale for these monsters:
It’s no wonder there are reports of these things falling out of trees and killing people every so often. They can weigh up to 7 lbs, and are called “the king of fruit” by enthusiasts. They could easily be called “spiky fart-melons” by non-enthusiasts, because durians have a smell that trumps even the death-beetle attracting plants and fungus further up the list. It has been described as smelling like “pig-c*?p, turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock. It can be smelled from yards away.” In Singapore, they are banned by law on public transportation. That’s right, it smells worse than a city bus.
Silver Torch Cactus
Silver Torch cacti look like some kind of horrifying nest of worms. Oddly enough for a cactus, they prefer cold, and can survive temperatures down to -10 degrees Celsius. If their regular appearance wasn’t bad enough, the more mature specimens have flowers, which look like more worms or monstrous fingers erupting from the cactus’s sides. They live in the mountains of Argentina and Bolivia, so don’t go there.
This is what the kids would look like if Cthulhu had hairy plant children. We could find even less on it than the Madagascan ocotillo, but judging from the fact that it is in a pot, we’re going to assume that since you can probably get one at Home Depot, they aren’t endangered.
Dragon's Blood tree
Easily the coolest looking tree with the most awesome name ever. Ever. They are called “Dragon’s Blood” trees because their sap is deep red. They grow in such a way that they look like mother nature wanted a mushroom forest but the fungus just wouldn’t grow big enough, so she just redesigned a tree.
They only grow on one island in the world and are severely endangered, which sucks because every country should have these. Screw pine trees, I want a giant dragon mushroom tree for Christmas. The name and appearance makes me think they are crawling with Italian Plumbers.
If Snuffleupagus had a trunk like this, Sesame Street would have been a barren alley. That is one of the most barbaric looking plants we have ever seen, and we can only imagine the defenseless little creatures that must get impaled on these horrors in the wild. They grow to be 12 feet tall, and if you damage them, they grow a brand new trunk out of the wound. This thing is the bloody hydra, in plant form.
Some species are grown for their latex-laden sap, and we pity the poor fools who have to work with them.
Tree Tumbo is a special little plant; they only ever grow 2 leaves, and those leaves grow continuously for their entire lives, like rabbit teeth. Except they can’t chew anything as plants lack strong jaw muscles so they just keep growing and growing. Do you want to know what makes them impressive? They can live to be over a thousand years old! Some are believed to be over 2000! That’s right, if these things could talk, they could tell you what Jesus looked like, if he happened to make his way to Namibia at any point (and, you know, if they had eyes).
- - Rafflesias Flower: http://msnbcmedia4.msn.com/j/msnbc/Components/Photos/070111/070111_giant_flower_02.hmedium.jpg http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/af/Rafflesia_sumatra.jpg/200px-Rafflesia_sumatra.jpg
- - Titan Arum: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Titan-arum1web.jpg
- - Elephant foot yam: http://www.tropicamente.it/home/catalogo/cata/a/Amorphophallus%20paeoniifolius.jpg
- - Bear's head tooth mushroom: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/00/Igelstachelbart_Nov_06.jpg/800px-Igelstachelbart_Nov_06.jpg
- - Red Cage fungus: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/14/Clathrus_ruber.jpg
- - Witch's Butter and Black Jelly Roll: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/91/Tremella_mesenterica.jpg/427px-Tremella_mesenterica.jpg http://www.mushroomhobby.com/Gallery/Jelly%20Fungi/Exidia%20glandulosa.JPG
- - Madagascar ocotillo: http://www.soenyun.com/Blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/balboa-park-succulent-alluaudia-procera-200x300.jpg
- - Durian: http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/nikon/nikkoresources/AFNikkor/AF35105mm/durian_malaysia.jpg http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_oCQNykJzXjw/SGBt5NzlSzI/AAAAAAAAAvI/uyZ0hEVc-rY/durian-1.jpg
- - Silver Torch Cactus: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/56/Cleistocactus_strausii_Woolly_Torch%2C_Huntington_Desert_Garden.jpg/250px-Cleistocactus_strausii_Woolly_Torch%2C_Huntington_Desert_Garden.jpg http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1d/Cleistocactus_strausii2.jpg/200px-Cleistocactus_strausii2.jpg http://www.lapshin.org/cultivar/N40/nikita/Cleistocactus-strausii-cristata-NBS2007.jpg
- - Austrocylinropuntia vestita: http://www.lapshin.org/cultivar/N40/nikita/Austrocylinropuntia-vestita-cristata-NBS2007.jpg
- - Dragon's Blood tree: http://artsytime.com/img/nature/socorta-island/socorta-island08.jpg http://photos.igougo.com/images/p352594-Socotra_Yemen-Underneath_a_Dragons_Blood_Tree.jpg
- - Elephant's Trunk: http://www.tucson-gardener.com/graphics/succulent/Pachypodium%20namaquanum02.jpg
- - Tree Tumbo: http://i.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/01421/trumbo_1421873i.jpg