What plant is that?

So, there was I, walking along a footpath in Mrytleland, keeping my eyes downcast to avoid errant tree roots, when I saw a plant I’d never encountered before. It looked like this. In fact, this was it.

20160530_155821_1

20160530_155838

This is what the underside of the hood looked like.

20160530_155904

I continued my perambulation, and then encountered a lady being pushed along in a wheelchair. When I showed her the photos, she knew exactly what the plant was, and identified it as a Cobra Lily. Thank you, Lady in a Wheelchair.

It is with excitement that I can tell you a bit about this plant. It’s a carnivorous plant, for crying out loud. Although it needs full sun, its roots need cold conditions. How selective is that?

What I took to be a bloom is, in fact, a modified leaf. The cunning plant lures itsย prey with a sweet nectar exuded inside the hood. Sharp downward pointing hairs combined with a slippery surface prevent the insect from escaping, and enzymes in the base of the hood soon transport the victim to that digestive home in the sky. The plant absorbs the results for nourishment. All of this is achieved without leaving the comfort of its comfy home, albeit with ice cold feet.

Isn’t nature wonderful?

71 Comments

Filed under Australia

71 responses to “What plant is that?

  1. I love it
    beauty,death,and cold feet

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Now I’m itching to see how it actually ensnares, captures and eats its prey. Maybe you could toss it a ham sandwich and see what happens?๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Brilliant. But don’t poke your nose in too far.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for noticing these Yvonne. They look like a lot of other things, but some of the carnivorous plants are very strange. And this one needs very specific conditions. Fascinating!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Caroline

    How lovely! Kind of like a cross between a calla lily, an anthurium and a Venus fly-trap, maybe What sort of size are the blooms? Interesting to see they grow wild in Greece too – I wonder where they originated? I often wish I’d kept my childhood ‘Observer’ books.

    I imagine Oz is like Britain in that you’re not allowed to pick or dig up wild flowers?

    Liked by 1 person

    • They really were eye-catching, even though not all that large nor flamboyant. The hood is about the size of the last 2 joints on your small finger. The leaves are very glossy and somewhat the shape of ivy. They are what attracted my attention, growing around the base of some trees beside the footpath.

      You’re right, we’re not supposed to take wild flowers from their own area.

      Like

  6. Humor_Me_Now

    Maybe they eat mosquitos. What a lovely thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I wonder if this plant, with some genetic tinkering, could produce the enzymes to digests entire politicians? All those downward pointing hairs on the inside of this plant plus the odour might well entice politicians to climb inside. I can just see (and rejoice) Mr Anti refugee Politician or Mr Morrison’s’ hand sticking up in a desperate last effort to stay alive being sucked up inside this giant pitcher plant.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. That just about the coolest thing ever!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. No wonder it caught your eye Yvonne. What an unusual looking plant. Good spotting!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It’s a very pretty flower and I’m glad that there aren’t any palm trees that do the same thing or we all might be in trouble.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. It’s a baby Triffid !๐Ÿ˜‰โค

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh it is lovely, I rather like it. But really now, wouldn’t it look better on your kitchen table? Did you pick it? I wont tell anyone.๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • No, you have to dig it out, and I didn’t have my break and enter tools with me that day.

      I’d need to have a heat lamp for the top, ice cubes for the roots and an open window for the insects. Nah, I’ll just enjoy it in its environment.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. It is! Nature brings joy and smiles!
    What a unique plant! Thank you for teaching us about it!
    HUGS!!!๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  14. We have these in Greece, in the woods near our house! I never knew what they were called, so thank you, Yvonne!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Carnivorous plants! Wow don’t get your fingers too close.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Anyone who is hot headed, has cold feet and sucks flies is not anyone I care to know.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. It does look kind of snaky!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. It was probably just as well you were looking down dear Yvonne – those cobras look ready to strike at anything that gets too close! Nature is pretty amazing – but I do think she was on something when she decided carnivorous plants were a good idea!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Let’s hope that the cobra didn’t get the lady in the wheel chair.

    Liked by 1 person

Now it's your turn

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s