Hydnora africana

hydnora africana erotic
Hydnora africana is an plant native to southern Africa that is parasitic on the roots of members of the Euphorbiaceae family. 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, and carrion beetles. The flowers act as traps for a brief period retaining the beetles that enter, then releasing them when the flower is fully opened.

 

The plant body is completely leafless, void of chlorophyll and is brown-grey. As it ages, the plant turns dark grey to black. A network of thick rhizophores or subterranean stems and roots traverse the soil around the host plant.
hydnora africana

http://www.botany.org/plantimages/ImageData.asp?IDN=ca06-005&IS=700

 

 

Plants only become visible when the flowers protrude through the soil after good rains have fallen. Under favourable conditions it takes at least one year for a bud to develop into a mature flower.

Fully grown, ripe fruits of Hydnora africana may measure up to 80 mm across and contain up to 20 000 seeds per fruit. The brown pinhead-sized seeds are embedded in an edible gelatinous pulp with a slightly sweet and starchy taste. These fruits are favoured by mammals such as porcupines, moles, baboons, jackal and also birds.

 
hydnora africana

 

Hydnora africana is found from the western coastal areas of Namibia, southwards to the Cape and then northwards throughout Swaziland, Botswana, KwaZulu-Natal and as far as Ethiopia.

 

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