Plants play an enormous role in the world’s ecosystem, supporting life as we know it. They are nature’s ornaments, decorating our forests, deserts, and jungles in all shapes and sizes and all the colors of the spectrum. Some plants combine colors and shapes that are breathtakingly beautiful. Others seem to have sprung from the minds of science fiction writers and don’t seem to be of this Earth.
To identify the weirdest plants of all time, 24/7 Tempo consulted a variety of sources on what many consider to be the strangest, most unusual members of the plant kingdom. We concentrated on plant species with characteristics that seem to defy common perceptions — ranging from carnivorous diets to unconventional means of pollinating to strange defense mechanisms to plants that simply look the strangest.
Some plants such as the cape sundew and the porcupine tomato are considered invasive species outside their native areas and propagate rapidly. These are the most devastating invasive species.
Not all of the plants on our list are still with us. Lepidodendrons, or scale trees, populated the Earth during the Carboniferous Period, from about 359 million to about 299 million years ago. They grew close together and reproduced by use of spores. They died out probably because of climate change. Here are the 50 oldest things in the world.