Freaky Flora: A Lily That Looks like a Bat. Plants That Eat Flies-Or Fingers!-For Dinner. Who Needs Halloween Decorations When Nature Provides Such Bizarre and Beautiful Creations? We've Assembled a Collection of the Spookiest Flowers and Plants from Growers around the West. Display Them to Add a Little Haunt to Your House This Season ... If You Dare

By Silver, Johanna | Sunset, October 2013 | Go to article overview

Freaky Flora: A Lily That Looks like a Bat. Plants That Eat Flies-Or Fingers!-For Dinner. Who Needs Halloween Decorations When Nature Provides Such Bizarre and Beautiful Creations? We've Assembled a Collection of the Spookiest Flowers and Plants from Growers around the West. Display Them to Add a Little Haunt to Your House This Season ... If You Dare


Silver, Johanna, Sunset


DARK AND STORMY

A handful of tall 'Hot Chocolate' callas makes for a moody bouquet. Tuck in nearly black aeonium rosettes and Colocasia 'Puckered Up', a new elephant ear, to add more dark texture.

TO GROW

After frost has passed, grow callas from rhizomes. Aeoniums need protection from frost. Elephant ears can grow outdoors in mild climates, and as houseplants in all regions.

COME HITHER

Native to nutrient-poor soils, monkey cups (Nepenthes 'Miranda') have dangling pouches that capture and dissolve insects for food. "We call them 'roach motels' because insects check in, but they're never checking out," says Mark Pendleton, manager of Brookside Orchids. Pair the plant with Spanish moss, a cobwebby mass made up of tangled airplants (Tillandsio usneoicles).

TO GROW

Try monkey cups as houseplants; they need bright light and daily misting.

BURNING BEAUTY

Create a surreal scene with the Homelike stems of 'Sticks on Fire' euphorbia and a container of carnivorous plants. Here, Cobra plants (Darlingtonia colifornica) arch over smaller Venus flytraps and pitcher plants. Finish off the display with Swiss cheese vine (Monstera oblique), planted in a low bowl so its leaves creep out onto the table.

TO GROW

All of these plants cart grow outside in mild climates or as houseplants in bright. But beware Cobra plants are fin, icky and need cool temperatures.

FEED MT., SEYMOUR

Place a pot of Venus flytraps (Dionaea muscipula) on the table and your guests won't be the only ones enjoying dinner. When the plant's trigger hairs inside are touched, its elegant eyelashes turn into teeth that snap shut--even emitting a slight electrical current as they close.

TO GROW

Venus flytraps can grow outside in frost-free climates, or as houseplants in bright light.

FRANKENSTEIN

Crested euphorbias (back) are like something out of a monster movie. Grafted onto stems of another type of euphorbia, their crests gradually double over as they grow. Other menacing creatures: Dyckia, a dark bromeliad (center), black mondo grass, and split rocks (Pleiospilos nelii 'Royal Flush'), camouflaged as unassuming stones in black sand.

TO GROW

All four plants need mild temperatures and minimal water. They are happiest outside in arid, frost-free areas, but the succulents will thrive indoors too.

THE BAT CAVE

Line up a series of black bat lilies (Tacca chantrieri) on a mantel; with their winglike webbed bracts, they look ready to take flight. …

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Freaky Flora: A Lily That Looks like a Bat. Plants That Eat Flies-Or Fingers!-For Dinner. Who Needs Halloween Decorations When Nature Provides Such Bizarre and Beautiful Creations? We've Assembled a Collection of the Spookiest Flowers and Plants from Growers around the West. Display Them to Add a Little Haunt to Your House This Season ... If You Dare
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