There’s nothing quite like giving your significant other flowers or succulents. Sure, they don’t last forever, but the gesture is romantic, pleasing to the eye, and can liven anyone’s mood.
But if you were to give your loved one any of these plants, they’d pack their bags in an instant. From carnivorous crops to deadly fungus, these naturally occurring species would make for the absolute worst gift imaginable… and for some pretty strange reasons, too!
1. The “Flower of Laughter” (Datura Indian) has been spotted from China to the Caspian Sea. It’s known to cause people to laugh uncontrollably for up to thirty minutes, before falling into a deep, relaxing sleep.
2. This is the white black cohosh, also known as “doll’s eyes.” Though it looks like some sort of horrifying multi-eyed monster, it doesn’t actually do anything unusual on a functional level.
3. The devil’s claw is widespread in South and Southwest Africa. It uses its thorny tendrils to cling to people’s clothing and animals that pass it by. Though the devil’s claw is fittingly diabolical in its appearance, it is also used prominently in folk medicine.
4. Found in the North American Chihuahuan Desert, the Anastatica may not look like more than a hardened tumbleweed or a bird nest.
But watch what happens when it’s exposed to water.
5. Though seemingly innocuous, the fraxinella is actually extremely dangerous. If you touch it, you won’t feel anything at first. But after a day or so, signs of burns or blistering will start to appear before eventually bursting. The burns and bubbles then increase, making people feel hot and weak. Nobody knows what causes these burns, which only makes this plant more frightening.
6. Native to the African desert, the Gidnora feeds on other plants right down to their roots. Most of the time, it remains underground. On the rare occasion that it rains in the desert, the Gidnora rises to the surface, revealing up to seven inches of terrifying.
7. Sundew is another carnivorous plant found in every continent (with the exception of Antarctica). It produces tiny droplets of mucus that traps insects and makes them into a meal.
8. Nepenthes attenboroughii, also known as Attenborough’s pitcher plant, may be the oddest carnivorous plant in existence. First discovered in the Philippines in 2000, it traps small rodents and, on occasion, insects, in its pitcher-shaped body. The largest of its “jugs” were found to hold almost half a gallon in volume.
9. This fungus has the scientific name Hhydnellum peckii, but it’s more commonly referred to as “bloody tooth.” It has also been referred to as strawberries and cream, which is fitting because it smells like fresh strawberries. Don’t try to eat it, though, because it’s surprisingly poisonous.
10. The Chinese myshetsvet may be the creepiest-looking plant on this list. It’s distinguished by a dark purple coloring and whisker-like tendrils, which can grow to over 28 inches long. The rest of the plant may be up to a foot in diameter.
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