plants that can grow in the dark?

Bob Vickery vickery at MPX.COM.AU
Tue Feb 25 08:34:57 EST 1997

pmoore at (Patricia Moore) wrote:

>I recieved a question today through the MAD SCIENTIST NETWORK that I
>need a bit of help on.  The question that was submitted was:
>Are there any plants that can grow completely in the dark?
>If there is anyone who can help me out I would very much appreciate it!
>Thanks, Trish Moore


There are quite a few flowering plants that spend their vegetative lives in
the dark.  They are either parasites or saprophytes.  All the ones I know
of have their flowers in the light.  The common, and spectacular, examples
in Australia are the Hyacinth Orchids of genus Dipodium.  Their roots grow
saprophytically and look a bit like sweet potatoes.  The inflorescences are
vaguely like hyacynths, up to a metre high, and very spectacular.

The Rafflesia genus in Malasia and Indonesia are the most spectacular examples.


Bob Vickery
bob at
vickery at

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