It hides from the sun, instead getting its sustenance by parasitically feeding off fungi. Sounds like a vampire to me! Okay, so it’s a plant, but so was THE THING (FROM ANOTHER WORLD) in the original Howard Hawks classic, and it was still vampiric aplenty, despite being portrayed onscreen by Marshal Matt Dillon of GUNSMOKE fame. (Well, Marshal Matt WAS kind of wooden.) Anyway. The plant is called SCIAPHILA YAKUSHIMENSIS, named after the place where it was discovered, the Japanese island of Yakushima, and it is mycoheterotrophic. That means it parasitizes fungus. (So much for those who say this site ain’t educational!)
The purple, star-shaped flowers of the—do I really have to type SCIAPHILA YAKUSHIMENSIS again? Can’t I just say “Japanese Vampire Plant?” Or better yet, “JVP?” Why, yes. Yes, I can. I’m the one writing this article, after all.—The flowers of the JVP, which are among the rare portions of it to actually protrude through the soil cover, are beautiful but deadly. To fungi, that is. Not to humans. Or they MIGHT be deadly to humans, too. I don’t know if anyone has ever tried to eat any parts of the JVP. As it has only recently been discovered, I doubt it. The plant COULD be poisonous. It definitely could be dangerous to humans, if it ever comes in contact with radiation. This IS a Japanese plant we’re talking about. It’s just a few roentgens (dosages of radiation—more education!) away from growing to gigantic size and threatening the world, ala Biollante. Somebody better have Godzilla on standby!