Ever heard of Hydnora Africa? Also known as “jackal food” or “Jakkalskos”, this is one of the rarest, strangest and most foul-smelling plants you can find in the world.
Next We tell you about it, its characteristics and all the curiosities we found about this flowering plant that you do not want to have in your garden.
How is the African Hydnora
Ah, yes! The African Hydnora is indeed an unusual and fascinating plant. It is a parasitic plant that is found in parts of southern Africa, and it has a very distinctive appearance.
The plant is subterranean, meaning that it grows underground, with only the flower emerging above ground. The flower is a fleshy, bulbous structure that can grow up to 15 cm in diameter, and it is typically a reddish-brown color. The flower has no leaves or stems, and it is pollinated by carrion beetles and dung beetles, which are attracted to the strong, putrid odor it emits.
One of the most interesting features of the African Hydnora is its parasitic nature. It attaches itself to the roots of nearby plants and extracts nutrients from them, essentially living off of them without producing any of its own food through photosynthesis. Despite its parasitic behavior, the African Hydnora has been used for medicinal purposes by some indigenous people in Africa, who believe it has healing properties.
Overall, the African Hydnora is a fascinating plant that has evolved some truly unique adaptations to survive in its environment.
Sure! One of the reasons the African Hydnora is so unusual is that it lacks many of the features that we typically associate with plants. As I mentioned earlier, it has no leaves or stems, which means it cannot photosynthesize and produce its own food. Instead, it relies entirely on other plants for its nutrients.
The plant also has a unique way of obtaining its nutrients. It attaches itself to the roots of other plants using modified roots called haustoria. These specialized roots penetrate the host plant’s root system and draw nutrients directly from it.
Interestingly, the African Hydnora is not the only parasitic plant that relies on haustoria to survive. Many other parasitic plants, such as mistletoe, also use haustoria to extract nutrients from their hosts.
Despite its unusual appearance and parasitic lifestyle, the African Hydnora is an important part of the ecosystem in which it lives. It provides habitat and food for a variety of insects, such as carrion beetles and dung beetles, which help to pollinate the plant and spread its seeds.
Overall, the African Hydnora is a fascinating example of the diversity and adaptability of life on Earth. Its unique adaptations allow it to survive in a challenging environment, and its interactions with other organisms demonstrate the complex web of relationships that exist in natural ecosystems.