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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Cryptobotany:Man-eating tree-Madagascar carnivorous plants and Umbdhlebi-not found since first reported

Man-Eating Tree
-Man-eating tree can refer to any of various legendary carnivorous plants that are
large enough to kill and consume a person or other large animal
-no such plant is known to exist, though a variety of unconfirmed reports have been
recorded
-presently, the carnivorous plant with the largest known traps is probably Nepenthes
rajah, which produces pitchers up to 35 cm (14 inches) in height and will sometimes
consume small mammals

Umbdhlebi
-Umdhlebi is an unverified plant species purported to originate in Zululand, South
Africa. It was first reported in the journal Nature on November 2, 1882 by Reverend
G. W. Parker, a missionary in South Africa, who said the plant was poisonous.
-according to Parker, Zulus sacrificed sheep and goats to the tree to calm the evil
spirit
-as of July 18, 2007, no specimen of the Umdhlebi has ever been recovered, and other
than 19th century anecdotal evidence no further verification is known to exist
-the Umdhlebi is described as having large, fragile green leaves, and two layers of
bark - a dead outer layer that hung off the tree, and a new living layer that grew
beneath it
-the fruit of the tree was reported to be red and black, and to hang from branches
like small poles

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