The Pachypodium is very spiky for a tree. Some are so spiky that they look like a huge weapon from a fantasy novel. But it's not spiky just to look cool. The spikes help defend it from animals who want to eat it or its fruit.
Lots of plants have strange looks or ways to get food. But as I said, they don't have those features just to be cool. They help them survive.
In this book, 10 amazing plants tell you why they have a certain feature and all about themselves.
So firstly, let's question the pachypodium.
I have lots of spikes on my trunk so that no one can climb me to get to my precious flowers and fruit.
Dear Pachypodium: why are you so spiky?
I look like a open cantaloupe because the orange color helps me camoflauge. Also, The chopped part is so that bugs can get stuck inside. The hairs inside of me help trap the bugs, then I digest them. A smell of poop helps attract the bugs.
I live in the desert, so I have no leaves and only 5 leaves. I’m used in tanning chemicals, fishnets, and face wash. I make an amazing, rare, tasty fruit takes 2 years to grow. My name comes from the greek word Hydnon, which means Fungus-Like.
Dear Hydnora: Why do you look like a cantaloupe chopped into three pieces?
I'm not bleeding. My body makes a red dye to scare away predators. I guess it scared you too. My horrible smell also gets them running away. The healthier I am, the more and more life-like dye I produce.
I'm about 5 inches tall and live in North America, Iran, Korea, and Scotland. Yes, that means you might stumble across me. Also, my “blood” tastes really good, so it's used in all kinds of recipes. I turn brown as I age, and make less blood, and starts to lose my red color, so, when I'm old, people confuse me with other plants, and don't even see my blood. My blood's also used in lot's of red dye's, so at least one red piece of clothing that you own or are wearing is made from my family.
Dear Hydnelluim Peckii: Why Are You Bleeding!?!
I don't start fires on purpose. I can squirt venom at predators if they get to close. If I miss, my venom is really flammable. My venom causes their body part to be paralyzed for almost two whole hours. So if I squirt them in the eye, that would be really bad for them.
Somehow, I'm a common house plant because of my beautiful looking green and white leaves. I'm known to causes houses to burn down. Even because I'm so dangerous, I can grow berries, but it's to expensive for berrie companies to buy all their pickers fire-proof suits. Also, I can grow to the size of a average teenager, and my nickname is mother-In law's tongue.
Dear Dieffenbachia, Or Dumb Cane: Why Do You Start Fires?
I'm not a rock! I am a plant like everyone else! I look like a rock so predators don't eat me. No one wants to eat a rock. I turn my bodies inside out, and my insides are rock- like, so I look like a rock.
I have two parts to me, a left and a right part. A line that goes deep inside me separates them. When I feel rich soil, which is when predators come for me, the bottom of the two sides bend downward. Then, the edges of the “new sides” connect to each other, and now I’m a rock!
Dear Lithops: Why Are You In This Book If You're Not A Plant?
I'm over 75 feet tall so that animals or people who are trying to get my precious fruit can't reach my fruit. I'm sturdy so that if someone is trying to get my fruit, I will have tough wood so that they can't climb me. My branches are too high up for them to climb them. I’m very protective of my fruit.
My wood, is so strong, that it's used to build prisons. I don't think anyones escapes these prisons. Because of my protective features, I can live for almost 5000 years! Im known as the tree of life for my size, and that my rare leaves are cures to several diseases. I'm also the national tee of Madagascar.
Dear Baobab Tree: Why Are You So Tall And Sturdy?
I am perfectly healthy. I make myself look dead so predators don't eat me. When something touches me, my leaves bend downward and turns brown. I also sometimes shrink. After a few minutes, I turn back to normal. I also have sharp, toxic spikes on my stem to defend me. I don't have human fingers, so I can't actually feel the toucher. I sense any water that's moving toward me. I can sense even the tiniest bit of water.
I have a cool way of way of reproducing. I let my seeds flow to the touchers hair so he or she can spread them. Because they mess with me, they have to carry my seeds. I can actually grow fruit. Lot of people like my feature, so i'm a common house plant. I live everywhere in the world and can grow up to 5 feet tall.
Dear Mimosa Pudica: why do you look so… unhealthy?
My “mouth” traps bugs so that they can't escape. Time kills them slowly; then I digest them. The hairs in the mouth get them trapped. I also smell like stuff that bugs love, so they come to the smell.
Because so many people buy me, but don't know how to take care of me, I am endangered. So that's why I live in greenhouses. Im also endangered because I don't have a defence system. Also, I'm so smart that if something other than bugs comes into my mouth, I can spit it out before I digest it and die.
Dear Venus Fly Trap: why is your mouth always open?
Like the Venus Fly Trap, I smell bad to attract bugs. I'm a lot like the Venus Fly Trap. I trap them in the middle of my mouth. Then, my hairs trap them, and then I digest them.
I have a deep hole in the middle of my body; where the bug-eating process is. Around the hole, I have 5 big red flowers. Instead of getting nutrients from the ground, I wrap my roots around other plants and steal their nutrients.
Dear Rafflesia flower: why do smell so bad?
Map Of Where These Plants Live