Plants produce their own food through a process called photosynthesis. What if the plant is leafless? Where do they get the needed nutrients? Will they still look beautiful and lovely if they don’t have leaves? Of course, these plants still manage to survive despite the absence of leaves and they can still be considered beauties of nature even if they’re leafless.
1. Ghost Orchid (Polyradicion lindenii)
This lovely-looking leafless orchid is a pale, pink orchid which gets its food from dead root and fungi in the ground. Crested coralroot is endangered in Florida. This small native orchid from eastern North America which is leafless blends into the forest background and looks like a bunch of dead sticks until you get down to see the individual flowers.
3. Bushman’s Pipe (Ceropegia ampliata)
This unique plant is a leafless climber with showy green and white bottle flowers. It is commonly called Bushman’s pipe. It is a perennial scrambler with a succulent stem arising from a fleshy, tuberous rootstock. Plants occasionally branch at the nodes. The stems are hairless and sometimes have longitudinal grooves. The plants have fleshy tuft roots from germinating seed or fibrous roots form at the nodes where the stem touches the soil surface. Leaves are borne on terminal growth; they are very small measuring only up to about 3 mm long. The leaves are shed early and the stem is the main organ used for photosynthesis.
4. Fishhook Barrel Cactus (Ferocactus wislizeni)
Cacti are known to be drought resistant plants, meaning they can survive with little amount of water. One species of cactus that bears a colorful and lovely flower is the Fishhook Barrel cactus. It is also known by the common names Arizona Barrel Cactus, Candy Barrel Cactus, and Southwestern Barrel Cactus. The common name comes from the spines, which are thick and hooked. The fruits are green when unripe, yellow after the flower dries up, and persist atop the cactus long after the flower is gone, sometimes for more than a year.
5. Fishhook Cactus
This pretty flowering cactus should not be confused with Fishhook Barrel cactus. Fishhook cactus is a smallcatus, usually growing up to 6-7 inches (20 cm) high, and is shaped similar to a barrel cactus. This species belong to the genus Mammillaria. They are found on the Sonoran Desert on the U.S. – Mexico border and the Mesa Verde National Park.
6. Hedgehog Cactus (Echinopsis spachiana)
Another beautiful species of cactus native to South America is the Hedgehog cactus also known as Sea-urchin cactus or Easter lily cactus. It is commonly cultivated as a pot- or rockery plant around the world. Cacti stems have expanded into green succulent structures containing the chlorophyll necessary for life and growth, while the leaves have become the spines for which cacti are so well known.
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7. White Rain Lily (Zephyranthes candida)
This beautiful plant in which you can only see flowers and stalks is commonly called Fairy Lily. Also known as the White Rain Lily is a native to the Rio de la Plata region of South America including Argentina and Uruguay but also native to Paraguay and Chile. Fairy Lilies are not actually totally leafless, it has leaves during the early stage but soon the leaves died out making the plant leafless.
8. Dragon’s Mouth (Arethusa bulbosa)
Dragon’s Mouth or Swam-pink is a terrestrial, leafless and very rare orchid occurs in the temperate regions of North America, mainly in Eastern Canada and Eastern USA. It occurs in bogs, swamps and other lowland humid places. It grows to a height of 15 cm. It forms a large, single, pink terminal flower, with a showy lip and white and yellow ringed crests.
9. Great Horsetail (Equisetum telmateia)
Great Horsetail or Giant Horsetail is a species with unusual distribution it has subspecies native to Europe, western Asia and northwest Africa, and a second subspecies native to western North America. It is an herbaceous perennial plant, with separate green photosynthetic sterile stems, and pale yellowish non-photosynthetic spore-bearing fertile stems. Occasional plants produce stems that are both fertile and photosynthetic. It is found in damp shady places, spring fens and seepage lines, usually in open woodlands, commonly forming large clonal colonies.
10. Rafflesia arnoldii
This bizarre plant lives as a parasite on the Tetrastigma vine, which grows only in primary rainforests. This unusual plant lacks any observable leaves, stems or even roots, yet is still considered a vascular plant. Rafflesia individuals grow as thread-like strands of tissue completely embedded within and in intimate contact with surrounding host cells from which nutrients and water are obtained. This flower is regarded as the largest in the world.
*Bonus* Leafless Beauty
This unusual plant bears flowers even though it doesn’t have leaves. These plants have showed that the leaves are not the only crowning beauty for plants, like hair is to humans. They can still be beautiful in their own little way even without leaves.
Hope you enjoyed this. Thank you!