Strange Plants

As mentioned before, each day out in the yard brings new discoveries. Most of them make sense for a 1940’s home, built on the edge of the city, such as the fruit trees or the roses, but this time, we’ve discovered a strange plant. It’s a voodoo lily.

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Voodoo Lilies are in the Amorphophallus family, and there are different varieties. But they all have something in common: they stink.

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Native to Eastern Asia, these lilies put off a putrid stench that attracts flies, not bees, to do the pollination. Thinking the flower is a rotting carcass, flies crawl around the flower and spread the pollen from one to the other. Even the color has evolved for reproductive success: its deep, dried blood color attracts pollinators such as carrion beetles and flesh flies, which normally feed on rotting flesh. Other type of “stinking” plants include the Stinking Corpse Lily, which is the largest flower on earth, and the Titan Arum which can get 10 feet tall. There is a great slide show of foul flowers located here.

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Apparently, they are rare. While there are only 2 in bloom, there are a handful of the plants, easily distinguishable by their molted stem. And they are right under the bedroom window. Which is near the back door. Which leads onto the patio. I wish I was there for the conversation justifying why planting a flower that smells like rotting meat under the bedroom window was a good idea. While they are super cool, I’m not a fan and they will get pulled out. So if you’re into weird plants and in the Sonoma area, I’m more than happy to dig them up for you!

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