Before pumpkins were popular for Halloween, kids carved turnips and the large, orange roots of mangold. So, when you are choosing Halloween garden plants to include in your festivities, pick those as well. In yesteryear, Halloween traditions had more to do with divining the future than they do today. Garden plants and fruits used for divination included the apple (of which when placed under the pillow, was said to produce dreams of a future spouse), flax and hazelnuts. Other plants that can be associated with Halloween, or autumn in general, might include pots of chrysanthemums, asters, sneezeweed or other daisy-like plants. Here are some more plants
This plant is a member of the same family as tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants and peppers. This may not seem like a scary family of plants but the Deadly Nightshade also has some very poisonous relatives like Herbane, Jimsonweed and European Mandrake.
In the Middle Ages, Deadly Nightshade was believed to be the devil’s favourite plant. Witches and Sorcerers would use the plant’s juices in many of their ointments and brews. Even though this plant has been used in medicine be sure to stay away, it is so toxic that even touching it can poison you!
This plant shares its scientific name with an unlikely species– proboscidea is also an order of elephants! Proboscidea comes from the word proboscis, which means trunk or horn.
As this plant matures, its seed pods dry out and turn grey or brown. Eventually the pods split down the middle and begin to look like sharp hooks (or horns). Imagine having one of those stuck to you. Scary! Plus, it probably doesn’t help that it’s named after the devil…
Some wolfsbane species are used in traditional medicines, while others are extremely toxic and can be deadly.
Wolfsbane has long been associated with werewolves. In most stories, wolfsbane has been known to keep werewolves away. However, if you ask the writer of Harry Potter, it also prevents a person from turning into a werewolf during a full moon.
Mature Chinese Lantern
Chinese Lanterns produce edible berries, which have been used in medicine to reduce fevers.
The bright orange berries of the Chinese Lanterns are protected by an orange covering that looks a little like a pumpkin. Once this cover begins to waste away it leaves behind a skeleton that looks like a spooky cage trapping the berry.
Although all members of the Celosia genus have fuzzy flowers, the waviness of the cockscomb’s flowers is pretty unique. It is caused by fasciation, which develops due to infections, certain insects or growing mutations. This isn’t just a cockscomb’s problem – any other plant can develop this way.
It may be just me, but this flowering plant looks a lot like a fuzzy brain, especially when the flower is yellow. This plant would make a perfect treat for Zombies. Yum! Brains!
Not only is this plant interesting because it blooms in the fall, it also has some pretty cool seed pods. When the seeds are ready, the pods pop and the seeds shoot outwards. In fact, this pop is so powerful that you can actually hear it!
Witch Hazel plants produce thin yellow petals that look wild and stringy. Take a look at its silhouette and you’ll know what we mean. Very creepy!
This plant is pretty toxic so most herbivores avoid them. However, birds appear to be immune. By carrying the berries, birds help spread the Doll’s eyes’ seeds to new places.
This plant is named after its white berries, which look like old-fashioned china doll eyes. Sure, they are berries, but we wouldn’t want to be walking alone in a forest filled with doll’s eyes on a scary night. Hundreds of little eyes watching you? Ah…no thank you!
Dracula orchids smell like mushrooms and look a little like them too (the “tongue”). This is done on purpose to trick fruit flies that pollinate mushrooms into pollinating them as well.
This flower looks like a vampire! When Spanish scientists first came across these orchids, they were reminded of dragons and bats If you find yourself surrounded by Dracula Orchids, you better watch your step – you might get bitten!