In the succulent world, we are often overwhelmed by those succulents that feature chubby leaves, delicate powder, dizzying colors, and fairy names. However, a group of people are also pursuing niche succulent species. These succulents are traditionally considered "ugly" because of their exotic appearance. Due to their uniqueness, these succulent plants are often unforgettable once anyone glances by and attracts those weird succulent hunters.
This blog will take you to see who are the world's top 17 "ugly" succulents. You can check if you can embrace this kind of different beauty.
Echeveria Baron Bold
Echeveria Baron Bold is a mesmerizing succulent that boasts a stunning rosette of textured leaves available in a range of hues, including red, green, or silver, depending on the season. This medium to large-sized plant can reach a height of up to 12 inches, adding a touch of spectacular to any living space. Its pink-purple leaves, resembling sizable, thick tongues, are accentuated by uneven wart-like bumps, creating an illusion of a mutant and toxic creature that can trigger the physical discomfort of the swart phobia.
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The Boobie Cactus has a lengthy scientific name, Myrtillocactus geometrizans Fukurokuryuzinboku. This particular succulent is truly one-of-a-kind due to its surface area, which features fleshy protrusions that resemble stacks of drooping breasts. These protrusions are also decked out with small, pointed spines, making it an uncomfortable sight for some. Despite this, there are still individuals who are captivated by this plant and seek to add it to their collections.
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Senecio Pendulus, originating from East Africa and the Arabian region, takes the form of a short succulent shrub. Its cylindrical stems are slightly pointed at both ends, lying flat on the ground with segmented sections, each measuring 20 to 30 centimeters. Rather than resembling a mud loach, it's more akin to a snake or a horrible worm. The stout stems coil up and are covered in thorns as if poised to capture prey. Keep in mind that some species of Senecio, including certain cultivars of Senecio Pendulus, can be toxic to pets if ingested.
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Aloinopsis villetii is a small, intriguing succulent plant belonging to the Aizoaceae family. Their leaves are thick, cylindrical, and have a unique texture with tubercles or bumps that give them a raised bumpy appearance. The densely clustered white small protrusions appear like pustules that have grown due to a viral infection, creating an unsettling feeling that deters people from approaching.
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Hildewintera Aureispina (Cleistocactus winteri)
Cleistocactus winteri, frequently referred to as Hildewintera aureispina, is a swiftly branching columnar cactus. Hildewintera aureispina displays elongated stems adorned with a dense cover of vibrant, golden-yellow spines. These stems not only grow with remarkable speed but also assume diverse forms, resembling hungry snakes tirelessly hunting for prey. As a precaution, avoid contact with their spines, as they might evoke the sensation of a bite. Observing the entire plant, it even evokes thoughts of Medusa's hair, instilling a disconcerting feeling.
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Faucaria Tuberculosa, commonly known as Tiger Jaws or Ouch Plant, is native to South Africa. The leaves, typically arranged in 2 to 4 pairs per branch, measure up to 2.5 cm in length and 2 cm in width. When viewed from above, they exhibit a dark green, thick ovate-triangular shape, adorned with rough white tubercles scattered across the upper surface and bordered by delicate white structures. It's named after the distinctive triangular leaves that resemble the open jaws of a fierce crocodile, complete with tooth-like structures along the edges, creating the sense that they might devour other plants with even the slightest lack of attention. Some individuals also view them as a multitude of pustules on the surface, giving an impression of both ugliness and ferocity.
Astrophytum Asterias, commonly known as the Star Cactus, is a small and unique species of cactus native to northern Mexico. It is an extremely flat barrel cactus with a unique and remarkable form and no typical covering of spines but with a tiny speckled tuft of hairs less than pinhead-sized. The reason it was chosen as one of the ugliest succulents is precisely due to the spotted hair covering its body, which looks like countless scale insects parasitizing it, evoking a sense of dirtiness and illness.
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Crassula alstonii is a unique succulent plant that belongs to the Crassulaceae family. It's native to the Western Cape region of South Africa. This plant is notable for its distinctive growth pattern and attractive foliage. Crassula alstonii has a stacked, columnar growth habit, with leaves arranged in tiers or rows along the stem. As its fleshy leaves cluster closely, it takes on the appearance of lumps of adhesive green feces, and it even sprouts hair, akin to the process of fermentation and decay within fecal matter.
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Monsonia Multifida, best known as Sarcocaulon multifidum, is a semi-erect dwarf shrublets with long-lived, fleshy and knobbly stems with swollen main roots. As a type of clump-forming succulent, it has fewer leaves, causing the entire plant to appear chubby and somewhat bare, resembling an unattractive middle-aged man. However, it is quite expensive and still holds appeal for some people, being placed indoors as a decorative piece.
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Echeveria Rosima Raindrop
Echeveria 'Rosima Raindrop' is a distinctive and captivating succulent variety that belongs to the Echeveria genus. Its name originates from the fact that a raised bump, resembling a raindrop, grows on its leaves. However, it appears more like it was bitten by a monster, resulting in its current mutated form. When it enters a state of red coloration, it looks even more like a red eye. Even so, it still manages to find favor among a portion of its fans.
Avonia papyracea (formerly known as Anacampseros Papyracea) is a dwarf perennial succulent that scarcely even looks like a plant, with several slender branches radiating from a tapered rootstock or basal caudex, wholly clothed in silvery white overlapping scales (modified stipules, leaf bracts). It is these dense scales that make the entire plant appear like a soft caterpillar. It's as if you never know when it might come to life, wriggling toward you, which truly evokes a sense of fear.
Lophophora williamsii f. cristata
Lophophoras, renowned as spineless cacti, are commonly referred to as "Peyote." Their stems typically exhibit shades of glaucous green, dull bluish, or greyish green. The stems are globular, adopting a top-shaped or slightly flattened appearance, often crowned with a woolly tuft at the apex. Furthermore, a remarkable collection of crested variations exists, giving rise to unsightly and twisted formations reminiscent of intestinal mounds. The more lush the plant grows, it's as if there's more dirt hidden inside, ready to spill out at any moment, which can easily make one feel nauseous.
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Mammillaria elongata f. cristata
Mammillaria elongata f. cristata is a unique crested variation of the Mammillaria elongata species, commonly known as the "Ladyfinger Cactus." The most notable feature of Mammillaria elongata f. cristata is its abnormal growth pattern, characterized by its cresting or brain-like formation. The crested sections twist irregularly, resembling a brain taken out and planted, and they have grown numerous fine spines due to decay. It also appears as if countless worms are entwined together, as if consuming a creature. Therefore, this appearance often proves challenging for people to accept.
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Aloinopsis setifera is a succulent plant belonging to the Aizoaceae family. The elongated, cylindrical leaves are covered with fine bristle-like structures, creating a spiky texture that can evoke a sense of unease, easily causing Trypophobia discomfort. Its colors and patterns are equally unappealing, with an overall rough and dark combination of red and deep green, making it not pleasing to everyone’s aesthetic taste.
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Conophytum Obcordellum is a small succulent plant that belongs to the genus Conophytum, which is known for its unique and captivating appearance. Their leaves are typically gray-green with numerous black speckled patterns on top, resembling a face covered in acne or as if infected with some virus. However, in reality, this is their way of mimicking their natural environment. People with a fear of clusters might find their appearance unsettling.
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Tephrocactus Articulatus, commonly known as the "Jointed Prickly Pear," is a unique and interesting cactus species belonging to the Opuntia genus. Unlike other cacti, its spines are long and appear like thin, fragile pieces of paper emerging from areas resembling boobs. Furthermore, due to its appearance resembling breasts, it grows by piling up chunks of flesh as it develops. Its unique appearance still appeals to a portion of the audience.
Lithops, commonly known as "living stones," are fascinating succulents native to southern Africa. They are part of the Aizoaceae family and are renowned for their mimicry of stones and pebbles. However, their shapes and growth patterns are quite similar to exposed buttocks, and the surface patterns of some varieties resemble a network of red blood vessels, giving the impression of being infected by a virus, which makes it difficult for some people to accept. Nevertheless, this doesn't deter a large group of succulent enthusiasts from pursuing them.
Image Credit: scrapbooklithops.com
Despite the repulsion these succulents face due to their appearance, they still manage to attract a niche group of succulent enthusiasts who appreciate their unique looks. Thus, outward appearance is never the sole factor in judging a living being. It's their functionality and contributions to the environment that truly command our respect. If you're intrigued by these succulents as well, why not bring some home? You might discover their distinct charm!