Hydnora Africana

Hydnora Africana is a poorly known genus of parasitic plants from Southern Arabia and Africa.

An extreme reduction in structural features, including the complete lack of leaves, has led to Hydnora’s reputation as ‘the strangest plant in the world.’

The buds of these bisexual flowers develop underground and eventually emerge to reach a height of about 100 to 150 mm.

Botanical information suggests that the Hydnora Africana is a parasitic plant on species of the genus Euphorbia.

Hydnora-Africana-1

It has such an unusual physical appearance that one would never say it is not a plant.

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However, It looks astonishingly similar to fungi and is only distinguishable from fungi when the flower has opened.

The body of this plant is entirely leafless it is devoid of chlorophyll and is brown-grey.

As it ages, the plant turns from dark grey to black

The flower of Hydnora, when it first opens, has white threadlike structures that cross the gap between the sepals.

The openings between these threads are hardly large enough for a beetle to enter.

Although a beetle may enter a flower, it has difficulty in finding its way out of the flower, which keeps it inside the flower long enough so that the beetle can pick up pollen and deposit it to the surface onto the stigmas at the bottom of the floral tube.

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