Some plants go out of their way to get noticed and can make almost anyone do a double-take. Mother Nature certainly does seem to have a sense of humor, and there are a number of plants that resemble human penises.
Some of the plants on this peculiar list are entirely penis-shaped, while others produce oddly familiar-looking fruit or flowers. Each has quite innocently taken on a shape that is adapted to fit the environment where it originated, and as you can see from the list, penis-shaped plants are present from lush forests to harsh desert settings.
Long tubular-shaped structures are common in the plant kingdom. In particular, many cactus species feature thick, elongated stems and erect structures. Although the size and color of these penis-shaped plants differ dramatically, they all share one common trait – they all have elements that are distinctly phallic-looking.
The list below provides a list of some of the most obviously penis-shaped plants on the planet. Although they are all vastly different and have lengthy scientific names, most of the plants on this list are simply referred to as ‘Penis Plants’ in the regions where they occur.
Nepenthes is a family of carnivorous plants that all feature elongated pitfall traps. Insects are attracted to these deadly pitfalls’ bright colors or sugary contents. Some of the largest of this species can even catch small invertebrates or rodents. The plant quickly digests the nutrients from the bodies of its victims.
The insect-eating property may sound very similar to Venus flytrap plants that most of us are familiar with. However, the appearance of Nepenthes, especially during the development of the pitchers, is so penile that they have been dubbed ‘penis fly traps.’ As the trap section of the plant reaches maturity, the lid opens, and they become more condom or champagne-flute shaped.
The resemblance of this plant to human penises is so uncanny that the authenticity of photos of Nepenthes has been questioned. Snopes to the rescue and verified that the plant in question exists and penis-looking structures are pretty standard in Nepenthes plants. You probably won’t come across a Penis flytrap at your local plant store as they are native to tropical areas around Malaysia and Indonesia.
2. Amorphophallus Decus Silvae
Another very different penis plant is an extremely rare variety that created great excitement at the end of 2021. The Amorphophallus Decus Silvae is native to Indonesian rain forests and takes massive penis shape and impressive size to a new level. The specimen bloomed for only the third time in a botanical garden in Europe.
The penis-shaped bud of the Amorphophallus decus silvae is approximately 3 feet tall and stands erect on a massive stem that can reach up to 6 feet. That certainly makes this plant unmissable!
However, it’s not only the giant penis shape of the plant that got everyone’s attention. The pungent odor of the plant is intense. This oddly shaped variety is a close relative of the corpse flower, which is well known for its smell that is reminiscent of rotting flesh and shares the notoriety of being distinctively penis-shaped.
Because the flowers are so huge, it takes an enormous amount of stored energy for the plant to produce its massive penis-shaped buds regularly. The terrible smell of these flowers attracts pollinators.
3. Trichocereus Bridgesii Monstrose
An easy to keep penis-shaped plant is the popular Penis Cactus. The distinctive shape, smooth stem, and the lack of spines on the top part of the plant have earned it quite a few names including, Pornographic Cactus and San Pedro Penis.
This cheekily-shaped plant is a nursery-produced variety produced from Echinopsis lageniformis. The modifications have altered the usually lanky appearance of this cactus’ original Bolivian desert varieties to display stubby, short stems that give the impression of an adult human-sized penis.
Amusingly, this cactus so obviously resembles a penis that the German name for the cultivar is Frauenglück which translates as ‘women’s luck.’
4. Phallus Impudicus
Phallus Impudicus is a common mushroom in the woodland areas of North America and Europe. It is also known as the common stinkhorn, and if you look at it closely, you will quickly see how this fungus got the ‘phallus’ part of its name.
Although these mushrooms are pretty smelly and a bit slimy, it’s the penis-like shape that attracts attention. These tiny plants jut out of the ground at right angles, which completes the effect given by the distinctive conical head that sits on top of a smooth stem. The head is usually a darker olive color that stands out from the lighter stem.
Related: Are Lawn Mushrooms Edible?
5. Orchis Italica
The Naked Man Orchid is a beautiful low-growing orchid that features clusters of bright flowers. And while you may not notice anything unusual about it at first, take a closer look, and you will see something quite unique about the flowers.
While the entire plant is not shaped like a human penis, it definitely likes to display them – or in fact, many of them! The Orchis italica, or Naked Man Orchid, is a flowering plant that gets its name from the shape of its flowers which are unmistakably masculine in outline.
The flowers of this Mediterranean plant are usually pink, although pure white specimens do occasionally occur. What makes the shape of these flowers unusual is that it not only resembles a tiny penis between two long legs, its shape mimics an entire human body.
6. Peter Pepper
This naughty-looking pepper is sure to make you look twice. Its shape is so reminiscent of a penis that the Peter Pepper is also known as the Chilly Willy or Penis Pepper.
It is impossible not to notice its shape, and a reputable source has even described it as a ‘miniature replica of an uncircumcised male organ.’ So be warned, you will undoubtedly get a reaction if you display a few of these peppers at your next dinner party.
In addition to the shape, the size of Peter Peppers also adds to the penis-like effect. These red, or sometimes yellow, peppers are usually 4 – 6 inches long. These peppers are quite rare, so it is unlikely that you will encounter them in your local supermarket, although you can order seeds if you want to cultivate them at home.
Peter Peppers may look like a naughty prank, but they fit in the medium-hot level of the pepper scale, so if you like things hot, then these tangy peppers may be just what you need.