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Updated by Viviana Patino on Jan 24, 2018
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Top Ten Most Unique Plants in the World

These are just some of the most unique plants that can be found throughout the world. Each plant on this list has at least one feature that makes it stand out from every other plant. Whether it be a special adaptation for catching food, or a unique attribute such as possessing the scent of a rotting corpse, you'll be sure to find one that leaves you astounded.

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#6 Victoria Amazonica (Giant Water Lily Pad)

#6 Victoria Amazonica (Giant Water Lily Pad)

Victoria amazonica at first glance may seem like just another water lily pad that you would find at your local pond, but in fact these are much, much bigger. In fact these plants are massive, reaching up to 3 meters across in diameter, making the Amazon Water Lily the largest of its kind in the whole world. It can be found in the biggest tropical rainforest on earth, the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil. They grow beautiful flowers which are in full bloom at night, opening up completely to reveal shades of light purple, pink and most often, a soft white. The undersides of the lily pads are covered in thorns to evade predators, and the rimmed edges prevent pads from growing on top of one another. These massive lilies have been recorded support up to 45 kilos, or 100 lbs!

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#1 Titan Arum (Corpse Flower)

#1 Titan Arum (Corpse Flower)

The first plant on this list we're looking at is Titan arum, or more commonly known as the "corpse flower," mainly due to the foul scent it releases in order to attract pollinators. Titan arum can be traced back to Sumatra, Indonesia; where it can be found growing among the dense brambles of tropical forests. It grows for several years, reaching an impressive height of around 3 meters, until it can be able to bloom for the first time. This plant blooms for only a few days, releasing a strong musty odor that can be compared to that of rotting meat, hence the name "corpse flower." Undoubtedly this is a wonderfully unique plant in addition to all the other plants on this list.

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A man is hugging a Titan arum which towers well above him.

A man is hugging a Titan arum which towers well above him.

#largestflowers #unique

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#2 Dragon Blood Tree (Dracaena cinnabari)

#2 Dragon Blood Tree (Dracaena cinnabari)

The next plant on this list is Dracaena cinnabari, or the Dragon Blood Tree, which can be found on Socotra Island in the Arabic Sea off the coast of Yemen. It is an amazing looking tree resembling a umbrella from tightly packed branches and foliage, to provide the soil above the roots shade to reduce evaporation due to the dry and arid climate. This plant receives it's name from the red sap that oozes when the tree is cut, resembling that of blood from a creature, even when the sap has dried. The sap serves as a medicine and important ingredient in recipes for the locals, as a simulant and dye as well.

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#3 Sundew (Drosera)

#3 Sundew (Drosera)

Another intriguing plant that is very special that is on this list is Drosera, or the Sundew plant. It is in fact a carnivorous plant, meaning that it feeds on organisms such as insects, to receive the nutrients it needs. This is because Drosera typically grow in poor soil, which lack the nitrogen to properly grow. In order to solve this, Drosera has adapted to have leaves with hair-like feelers covered in a drop of a sticky, sweet-smelling, dew-like substance, the scent attracting insects. When an insect is lured in by the sweet-smelling substance, they become trapped in the sticky feelers and the plant stem slowly wraps around the insect, secretes digestive enzymes to consume its' prey. These plants are widespread, being easily found on all continents except for Antarctica. Nothing says unique like a plant that eats bugs!

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#4 Mimosa Pudica (The Sensitive Plant)

#4 Mimosa Pudica (The Sensitive Plant)

Here's a pretty amazing plant in my opinion; it reacts immediately to the touch. Mimosa pudica is a plant native to South and Central America and is a very unique plant at that. This fern can be found growing undisturbed in shady areas in the undergrowth of trees and shrubs, minding its own business until it becomes disturbed. The plant is ultra sensitive to touch, or really and trembles of the sort, it reacts by folding up rather quickly. Scientists believe that mimosa pudica developed this mechanism as a defense against herbivores that might want to eat it by startling them from the sudden movement from their meal, or to shake off and insects chewing on the plant itself. Overall this is a pretty unique and interesting plant!

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#5 Rafflesia

#5 Rafflesia

This is the world's largest flower, Rafflesia. At nearly 3 feet across then the flower is fully open, this plant greatly deserves the award when it comes to flower size. It is a parasitic plant that is native to Indonesia and can be growing among the forest floor. When it is in full bloom this bright red flower covered with yellowish-white spots reeks of rotting flesh, a stench that is very enticing for the insects which pollinate the Rafflesia. While it may not be very pleasant for us, it certainly drives bugs mad for the flower and is very effective in making sure that there will be another generation of titanic, smelly flowers.

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#7 Hydnora africana

#7 Hydnora africana

Woah, this plant looks like it came straight from a sci-fi movie! To your utter disbelief, this is in fact a real plant that actually exists. This strange-looking plant is known as Hydnora africana, a plant that spends nearly all of its time growing underground. Actually, just like the Rafflesia, this is a parasitic plant that feeds on the roots of other plants growing nearby. Then when the flower is ready to bloom, and a quite strange-looking one in fact, it pops up from the ground, orange and brown in appearance, in addition releasing a smelly odor. Why the strange shaped flower? The scent lures betters and other insects, which fall into a chamber inside the flower, with slick walls that prevent the insects from escaping. Then pollen is released onto the insects, and a few days later the wall become rough and the flower opens up, to allow the insects to venture forth to come across yet another strange plant to pollinate.

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#8 Venus Flytrap

#8 Venus Flytrap

This is another unique plant similar to the Drosera (sundew) because it also depends on luring and capturing prey for food. Once again this is due to the plant's native soil lacking in the necessary nutrients and nitrogen in the soil so the plant can be healthy. Its method of capturing food is different than the sundew, instead of having sticky feelers scented with sweet nectar, this plant has two special leaves rimmed with prongs, giving it the appearance of the plant with jaws. The inside of these two leaves is scented with a sweet substance which lure in unsuspecting insects. There are little trigger hairs within the jaws of the Venus Flytrap, and when the prey sets off the hairs within 20 seconds of each other the jaws quickly shut on it. With the insect continuing to freak out it in turn sets off more trigger hairs, cueing the trap to close tighter until it forms a seal, in which digestive enzymes are released and the bug is basically absorbed by the plant.

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#9 King's Lomatia (King's Holly)

#9 King's Lomatia (King's Holly)

This is definitely one of the more unique type of plant out of this whole list, mainly due to one attribute that really sets this plant apart from all others - it is the oldest plant, coming in at around 43,000 years old. The reason the King's Holly is so old is because the same clone has not died out yet. King's Holly is not actually a holly plant, it is more accurately referred to as a lomatia, a plant way different than holly. This particular plant also has a unique way of reproducing, instead of using pollen to pollinate other plants of the same species it allows for one of its branches to fall off and that limb then begins to grow roots, so technically the same plant lives on, which is how the plant became to be the age it currently is.

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#10 Lithop (The Living Stone)

#10 Lithop (The Living Stone)

Being one of the strangest plants on this list, Lithops are by far one of my favorite plants due to their unique appearance. They are a type of succulent that can grow a single flower between it's two single fat leaflets in the springtime when weather conditions are favorable. These funny looking plants are a very popular houseplants for exotic plant hobbyists for their strange and unique looking appearance. There are many different types of Lithops out there, ranging from a wide variety of colors, size and weight. This plant resembles a rock because scientists believe that this was done to avoid predation from herbivores. This plant is one of the most unique plants out of all the others on this list due to it's strange rocky look.