The Devil’s Plants

Seven plants named after the devil.

What looks red all over and has a long tongue and tail, a pair of horns on his head and holds a huge fork? This creature is very bad that’s why he was banished to a very hot place called hell.

The Devil has always been depicted as a creature looking like this. Any of the description above was probably how these plants get their names. Also, getting pricked with the thorny ones will not only be a taste of hell, you’ll also express expletives from the pain which is bad, like the devil himself. Oh, and the chili? It will burn your mouth like hell.

Devil’s Club

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Native Americans used this spiny plant for food and medicine. As long as the spines are still soft, the shoots will be edible and is said to be very tasty. Among its many traditional uses in Native American medicine is as remedy for stomach aches, psoriasis, tuberculosis and adult-onset diabetes. Also known as the Devil’s Walking Stick, this weed is covered with brittle yellow spines that break off easily.

Creeping Devil

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The Creeping Devil is endemic to the central Pacific coast of Baja California Sur, and is found only on sandy soils, where it forms massive colonies. These cacti lie on the ground and grow at one end while the other end slowly dies, with a succession of new roots developing on the underside of the stem. Over the course of many years, the entire cactus will slowly travel, with stems branching and taking root toward the growing tips, while older stem portions die and disintegrate. This traveling chain of growth gave its common name Creeping Devil. Due to isolation and scarcity of pollinating creatures, the plant is able to clone itself. This is done by pieces detaching from the major shoot as their bases die and rot.

Devil’s Claw

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The Devil’s Claw is also known as Grapple Plant, Wood Spider and Unicorn Plant and is named for the miniature hooks that cover its fruit. For thousands of years, the Khoisan peoples of the Kalahari Desert have used its roots as remedies to treat pain and complications of pregnancy, fever, rheumatoid arthritis and skin problems. Today, Devil’s claw is primarily used to relieve pain and inflammation of the musculoskeletal system and skin injuries and disorders.

Devil’s Tongue

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Also known as konjak, konjaku, voodoo lily, snake palm, or elephant yam, the Devil’s Tongue is a plant of the genus Amorphophallus. It is native to Japan, China and Indonesia. The Chinese have grown it for over 2,000 years. It is used today in China, Korea and Japan to create flour and jelly as well as a vegan substitute for gelatin. The Devil’s tongue is also treated as a houseplant. The flower has rubbery, brown vase-like spathe and a ‘tongue’ that has glistening secretions that mimic rotten flesh which attracts hundred of flies. The flower dies after three days.

Devil’s Backbone

Image via Wikipedia

The Devil’s Backbone is also known as Redbird Cactus, Slipper Flower and Jacob’s Ladder. The stems of each alternate leaf bend left or right, producing an unusual zigzag effect. This plant is a member of the Euphorbia family and a distant relative of the poinsettia. It produces very small flowers that resemble the heads and wings of tiny cardinals thus the other name “redbird cactus.” However, it is not a cactus at all but a succulent shrub.

Devil’s Tongue Barrel

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The Devil’s Tongue Barrel or Crows Claw Cactus is quite popular because it blooms very early with pinkish purple or yellow flowers. They come in late autumn to early winter and need moderate amount of bright sunlight to form. It got its name from the bigger thorn that grows in the center of all the thorn rosettes.

Dominican Devil’s Tongue Pepper

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The Red Savina Pepper is a cultivar of the habanero chile which has been selectively bred to produce hotter, heavier, and larger fruit. It is also commonly known as the Dominican Devil’s Tongue Pepper or the Ball of Fire Pepper in Guyana. It was named the Guinness World Records hottest chili in the world from 1994 to 2006.

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21 Responses to “The Devil’s Plants”
  1. Dendro Azures Says...

    On January 22, 2009 at 7:57 am

    Nicely written article and informative!

  2. MysLykeMeeh Says...

    On January 22, 2009 at 8:39 am

    wow–loved the pictures plus the information below it is well-explained!

  3. Duke Says...

    On January 22, 2009 at 8:53 am

    I loved this article. I love plants and i really loved the pictures. I also really liked the information. I wanna get my hands on tht pepper.


  4. Gon Pincha Says...

    On January 22, 2009 at 9:17 am

    Greeat article JK :D
    I realy enjoyed it.
    Love, Gon.

  5. Patrick Bernauw Says...

    On January 22, 2009 at 9:56 am

    I like the idea, I like the concept, I like the photographs and I sure like the article! WOW!

  6. Will Gray Says...

    On January 22, 2009 at 10:12 am

    Great article, great pica and very informative. I love that pepper!

  7. CutestPrincess Says...

    On January 22, 2009 at 11:35 am

    the plant’s are lovely, looks can be deceiving! great article!

  8. rutherfranc Says...

    On January 22, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    I wonder if the Devil`s Tounge is hot as it`s name implies… very informative..

  9. C Jordan Says...

    On January 22, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    Interesting stuff JK

  10. denus Says...

    On January 22, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    interesting article well done.



  11. Anne McNew Says...

    On January 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    Wow! awesome.You’ve got that nice photos and well written descriptions.

  12. James DeVere Says...

    On January 22, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    I can see your new confidence -
    Well done! j

  13. Betty Carew Says...

    On January 22, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    Great article very informative and the pics are excellent.

  14. papaleng Says...

    On January 22, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    Another well research article, very informative and the pics are great.

  15. Lisa Clayton Williams Says...

    On January 22, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    I learn so much from your articles! Another very well written article with vibrant pictures that illustrate your topic so well!

  16. claire Says...

    On January 22, 2009 at 11:42 pm

    great article! where can we get that Devil’s Tongue Barrel? i’d like to have one at home…

  17. S A JOHNSON Says...

    On January 24, 2009 at 12:03 am

    Very cool.

  18. maranatha Says...

    On January 30, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    Nicely done and great photos! The only one I recognised was the Devil’s Claw…we are forever getting them off our horses’ feet!

  19. trishia Says...

    On February 6, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    another mistake here-however;I enjoyed reading this article and seeing such strange and exotic plants.The “devil’s claws” are just that.

  20. FEMI Says...

    On October 25, 2009 at 9:12 am

    HEY GUYZ GUD JOB! we’v got a bean here in NIGERIA called DEVIL’S BEAN.If this plant should touch any part of your body,it will itch for hours.the only solution is to apply palm oil which will surpress the itching…GUYZ,ITS INDEED THE DEVIL’S BEAN!

  21. skip Says...

    On January 10, 2011 at 10:47 am

    The devils tongue pepper to my understanding IS NOT a red savina, but is a relation, as they both are to the habanero (capsicum chinense)

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