Lithops is a large genus in the Ice Plant Family (Aizoaceae), all native to southern Africa. These plants are often called “living stones”, and indeed they do blend right in with the pebbles in the places where they grow. But they put on an eye-popping show when they burst into bloom, as seen here with the maculate (speckled) form of Lithops salicola, which comes from near Hopetown in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province. This is very near to the center of the country.
These were my favorite plants when I was a kid despite never actually seeing one with my own eyes, and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a photo of one blossoming and they’re so beautiful
What about plants that look like vaginas? Got any of those?
surprisingly few! i think it’s because in the plant and fungi kingdoms, the goal in the case of a phallic structure is to get stuff out, whereas a yonic structure might be more geared towards keeping things in, which is only ideal for a plant if you have very special needs for it. you’ve got the parasitic plant Hydnora africana, for instance, which has a cage-structure flower that temporarily traps in beetles that come to pollinate it to increase the amount of pollen it can expose them to:
another is a personal fave of mine, the entire Nepenthes genus of asian pitcher plants, which are evolutionarily geared toward retaining digestive fluid to dissolve insects in for food. here’s a very popular and well known one in the collecting community for it’s unusual shape, Nepenthes aristolochioides:
I have recently discovered Plants. Did you know: if you find a plant you like, you can just… collect its seeds? Or, you can dig it up and plant it somewhere else?? OR (now this one is crazy but stick with me) you can take part of it and grow it into a new plant?!?
Amazing! First, I started small: I noticed some milkweed was spilling floaty seeds everywhere, so I borrowed a couple, planted them, and several months later I had so many Monarch and Queen caterpillars I had to give some away.
Next: I noticed a baby morning glory vine had popped up in my side yard. I didn’t want it in my side yard, so I dug it up, put it in my brand new flower garden, and several months later it has taken over the entire back half of my yard.
Then: my coworker brought in some lemongrass cuttings she’d done, and I planted it in my yard. It exploded and it’s the most massive lemongrass bush I’ve ever seen.
Now that I’ve done my “hands off” experiment with the back yard (conclusion: invasive grasses will completely take over and prevent any natives from taking root), I am ready to become the master of my realm. But I’m still broke as heck. So!
Milkweed vine (Matelea?) and Monarda seeds nabbed from the field at work!
Every mango I ever eat ever again! (Three germinated, started #4 last night)
Ruellia simplex which I *cough* may have borrowed from a park. I took five because I didn’t have scissors or a knife and I didn’t trust my ability in making cuttings but ALL FIVE ROOTED and some are starting to bud!!!
Red yucca from the parking lot at work
It’s contagious! My coworker went for a walk in her neighborhood, and saw a strange tree with these 15 inch long seed pods that look like giant string beans. So of course she took one to give to me. It matured over the weekend, and today I popped it open and LOOK AT ALL THESE SEEDS!!! It’s a Catalpa tree, which is native to the eastern and southern US states. It makes HUGE F-ING flowers which it drops everywhere, making a huge mess. They get TALL. And I have a HUGE HANDFUL of them. What am I going to do with 100+ Catalpa trees?!?! My (not very large) yard is already filling up with trees (though I eagerly await the total consumption of my house into thick wooded forest in the middle of my housing development). I’m thinking Bonsai 😂
Excuse me WHY does something that smol need 1260 chromosomes???
wild fun fact: as far as biology can determine, there is actually very little correlation between the ‘complexity’ of an organism and the amount of DNA it has. most of those 1260 chromosomes are most likely non-coding junk regions that have accidentally built up over the millenia and do literally nothing and are just copied and passed on. a ton of crazy shit can happen in evolution, and when it doesn’t do anything bad, it just kinda…..hangs out, which sometimes results in a huge amount of DNA accumulating that just….is completely nonfunctional.
it also should be noted that for some reason ferns are really, really good at doing some crazy shit with their chromosomes when they fuck. i would explain it here except i do not understand it past that sentence. if there was gonna be an organism in the world with 1260 chromosomes, it does not surprise me in the least that it would be a fern. they just be like that
GO SEE THE BOY AT ONCE! LIVE AT THE DENVER BOTANICAL GARDENS!!!
*wipes away a single tear*
This brings back some fond memories
~*~flashback to June 12, 2011~*~
I am: a student at the University of Washington in Seattle
I have: just impulsively donated blood upon seeing a Donate Blood! sign outside the bioengineering building
I forgot: to eat breakfast or lunch or even a snack cuz that’s how I roll
I’m about to: go to the greenhouse because the corpse flower bloomed the previous night and it was so stinky you could smell it clear across campus despite being closed up in the greenhouse
I see: there’s a huge ass line at the greenhouse because I mean COME ON of COURSE there is!
I stand: in line. It moves slowly. Then, the line enters the greenhouse. It is warm.
I feel: lightheaded… dizzy…
I ask: my friend to get me a soda, which I sit down to drink because I am starting to pass out.
I have: him stand in line for me and text me when he gets to the flower.
It was: worthit
You had to climb a ladder to see into the bloom. It radiated heat.
A single compound leaf
I would have impulsively donated two pints of blood on an empty stomach if that was the price of admission. I would have personally emptied it directly into the flower and thanked it for accepting my offering.
This palm is called the Devil’s Penis. Shhhhh…I wasn’t the one who named it.
Jatun Sacha, Ecuador
What is it with plants and dongs????
Humans cut off their sexual organs as part of our mating rituals. This is a threat.
😂 you’re right!!
It gets better: they move.
Those roots are constantly growing and form like stilts, and over time the palms drift…
Some more titillating pics of Devil’s Penis:
Iriartea deltoidea – An important tree species of the Amazonian rainforest. Y’all are getting excited about the stilt roots these things form, you’ll notice they head down into the ground. The rot-resistant wood from this tree is useful, from flooring to boats. Parts of the plant are edible to humans, though reportedly not tasty.
The dicktree is back!!! I did not realize that the dongs were the stilt roots that let it move, and I also didn’t know:
“Parts of the plant are edible to humans, though reportedly not tasty.”