UC Master Gardener Program
University of California
UC Master Gardener Program

Halloween Plants that will Scare the BOO out of you!

It's a scary time of year! Plants are amazing life forms, coming in a wide array of forms, shapes, and colors. Here are some of my favorite Halloween plants that are sure to scare the living daylights out of you!

Doll's Eyes (Actaea pachypoda)

Doll's eyes plants are not only poisonous but host eyeball-like berries that are highly toxic to humans but don't harm most birds. Unless you're visiting friends or relatives or vacationing in the Midwest or Northeast USA you may never set your own orbs on this plant!


Devil's Claw or Ram's Horn (Proboscidea louisianica)

This unfriendly looking species is native to the South Central USA and sports a unique horn-shaped pod. In addition to its attention-grabbing visual appeal, pigments contained in the pod are used for black dyes by several Native American tribes.

Bleeding Tooth Fungus (Hydellum peckii)

This startling-looking fungus oozes fake blood through minute pores. (The red goo is actually a result of guttation that forces water into the roots during osmosis.) Fortunately for Southern Californian's, it is found mostly in the Pacific Northwest and Europe living peaceably in a symbiosis with conifers.

White Ghosts or Indian Pipes (Monotropa uniflora)

Photo credit: Jay Sturner / Flickr

These eye-catching specimens have bright white droopy flowers reminiscent of ghosts found in spooky dark, dank basements. They hide in shady spots and live in a symbiotic relationship with a fungus in their roots providing food.

Happy Fall!
Janet

Posted on Monday, October 30, 2017 at 9:18 AM

Comments:

1.
Astonishing and intriguing! Have never seen the likes of any of them, despite personal immersion in plant books.  
Thank you for showing them.

Posted by Caroline Kirsch on October 31, 2017 at 9:57 AM

2.
A fascinating topic! What amazing plants. Thanks for sharing and giving me ideas about a new garden focus...

Posted by Dorothy M Downing on November 6, 2017 at 11:51 AM

3.
What a fun concept for an article! Thanks so much.

Posted by Aixa M Gannon on November 9, 2017 at 6:05 AM

4.
Just got around to reading this fun, but definitely hair-raising article. I've only seen a couple of these plants up-close-and-personal so this was "eye" opening as well. THANKS!

Posted by Miyo L. Burnett on November 11, 2017 at 8:45 AM

5.
Wow, very fun! Thanks for sharing!!!!

Posted by Diane Rexin on November 13, 2017 at 6:43 PM

Leave a Reply

You are currently not signed in. If you have an account, then sign in now! Anonymously contributed messages may be delayed.




Security Code:
LEBKAX
:

 
E-mail
 
Webmaster Email: mgwomack@ucanr.edu