Wednesday 17 December 2014

Tiger Jaws

Image: Mike Keeling
Faucaria tigrina
You weren't planning on visiting the greenhouse were you?

Image: Mike Keeling
Because you shouldn't.

Tiger Jaws is a plant found in certain parts of South Africa. Mercifully, it only reaches about 15 cm (6 in) tall.

Image: Ernest McGray, Jr.
Despite appearances, it doesn't eat insects like the venus flytrap. It doesn't eat lizards, either. Neither does it nip mouthfuls of flesh from passing cattle. No horses have lost their feet to them.

Image: luckytomato
NOT caked in blood!
If you slipped and fell on a Tiger Jaws, you wouldn't find most of your liver gone.

Instead, that terrifying infinity of jaws within jaws is all about water collecting. In their dry habitat, water vapour condenses on those jaws and drips down into the roots below. Being a succulent, they then store the water in those thick leaves of theirs.

Video: schlonald

At the end of the year, if they get sufficient sunlight, the Tiger Jaws will open up a huge, yellow flower. It's about 5 cm (2 in) across, a third of the entire plant's height.

Image: Clare Snow
It's pretty! And the Tiger Jaws definitely won't eat your face if you take a closer look.

Image: Ernest McGray, Jr.
No. They most certainly won't do that.


TexWisGirl said...

beautiful things!

Crunchy said...

The red one looks positively alien.

Porakiya said...

Why are they called tiger jaws? They look nothing like the jaws of a tiger! They look like they should be called Crocodile Jaws or Alligator Jaws.

or maybe Shark Jaws, for some bad humor :P

Porakiya said...

Oh yeah, I also want to mention that this plant has a sarlacc kinda thing going on, especially in the second picture

Atlas said...

I have far too many plants in my house but I think I am just going to have to add one more. Absolutely fascinating plants and great job on the photos.

Joseph JG said...

@TexWisGirl: So true!

@Crunchy: Yeah. In fact it looks like that alien that burst out of that guy's chest!

@Porakiya Draekojin: I know what you mean. It's a lot more mouthy and toothy than any tiger! Sarlacc is a good option!

@Atlas: Glad I could introduce you to another potential house guest!