The Strangest Plant in the World

The plant Hydnora africana is a parasite that smells foul… and that’s not even the weirdest thing about it…

Hydnora africana is an achlorophyllous plant in the family Hydnoraceae, native to southern Africa that is parasitic on the roots of members of the Euphorbiaceae family.[citation needed] The plant grows underground, except for a fleshy flower that emerges above ground and emits an odor of feces to attract its natural pollinators, dung beetles,[citation needed] and carrion beetles. The flowers act as temporary traps, retaining the beetles that enter long enough for them to pick up pollen. It is also called jakkalskos or jackal food. The genus name comes from the Greek word hydnon, which translates to “truffle,” and the specific epithet africana means to be from Africa.